Posted on November 16, 2020 · Posted in Faculty Associates News, Publication News

Roosevelt House Faculty Associate William A. Herbert co-authored a study titled Supplementary Directory of New Bargaining Agents and Contracts in Institutions of Higher Education, 2013–2019.

Download the study here (PDF).


While union membership has declined in many other industries, the new study demonstrates major membership growth at colleges and universities over the past seven years.

The study finds:

  • An increase of 118 new faculty bargaining units with a total of 36,264 newly represented faculty (20,160 at public sector institutions, 15,898 at private non-profit institutions, and 206 at for-profit institutions).
  • An 81.3% increase in bargaining units at private institutions and a 61.0% increase in represented faculty at those institutions, primarily among adjunct faculty. In comparison, there was an 8.8% growth in new public sector faculty units and a 5.8% growth in organized public sector faculty.
  • One new faculty bargaining unit created in 21 States and the District of Columbia with California (19), New York (17), Florida (13), and Massachusetts (11) having the largest number of new faculty collective bargaining relationships. The new faculty union at Duke University was the first at a private institution in a right-to-work state since 1992.
  • There are now over 14,000 organized postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers in bargaining units at six public sector institutions and six private non-profit institutions.
  • There have been 16 new graduate student employee bargaining units since 2012 with over 19,600 newly represented student employees. Eleven of the bargaining units are at private institutions with over 15,600 newly represented student employees, while in 2012 there were no organized units in the private sector. There are now 8 private universities with contracts applicable to graduate student employees.

The study was authored by Roosevelt House Faculty Associate William A. Herbert, Distinguished Lecturer and National Center Executive Director, Hunter College, CUNY, Jacob Apkarian, Assistant Professor of Sociology, York College, CUNY, and Joseph van der Naald, PhD candidate, CUNY Graduate Center.

The National Center is a labor-management research center at Hunter College, City University. The National Center’s Board of Advisors includes administrators and labor representatives from colleges and universities from across the United States.

Download the study here (PDF).