EDG/EDL 510 – Labor-Management Relations in the School Setting

Cliff Donn

Spring 2009

Reilly Hall 416, 445-4484





TOPICS: This course is about the processes by which school district employees unionize and engage in collective bargaining with their employers.  While all categories of school personnel, both professional and non-professional, will be discussed, the emphasis will be on teaching staff. The objective of the class is not to provide canned formulas or "correct" answers. Rather, students will become familiar with a variety of alternative approaches and with the arguments for and against these alternatives.

Students have opportunities to research and practice problem solving and leadership skills as applied to labor relations.  In fact, the class will rely heavily on case materials and experiential exercises.  The class is also designed to promote the sharing of professional expertise. However, because of the sensitive nature of personnel issues, experiences are shared without identifying schools or individuals. Class discussions of specific school problems are not to be shared in discussions outside of class.

SOURCES: The basic text for this course is Collective Bargaining in Education: Negotiating Change in Today’s Schools, Jane Hannaway and Andrew J. Rotherham. You will be reading some of this book on virtually every topic we cover. In addition, there will be sections of other books and articles from a variety of journals on reserve at the library, and most of these will be available to you electronically.

REQUIREMENTS: All students in EDG/EDL 510 will be required to take a final examination at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8. In addition, each student will participate in at least three three exercises involving the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and grievance handling. Other assignments and requirements will be discussed with the class and decided during the first several weeks of the class. This discussion will include the weighting of each component in terms of the course grade.

You should not take this class unless you expect to be able to attend all class sessions. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to get notes, any materials that were distributed, etc. Any class you miss involves missing an entire week of material. This is a major loss in terms of your mastery of the course. We understand that you have many important claims on your time including professional obligations. It is up to you to decide on your priorities. However, you cannot receive a passing grade in the course without mastering the material and this cannot be done with a significant number of absences, no matter how valid the justification so you cannot receive a passing grade in the course if you miss several classes. In addition, for any absences beyond the first, regardless of the reason, you will be assigned a paper of five to six pages on the reading material assigned for that week. This assignment is explained in greater detail on the course home page. In order to pass the course all required work must be submitted and all must be submitted on time.

CELL PHONES: Cell phones must be turned off (not set on vibrate) during class. If an emergency necessitates that yours be kept on for a particular day, please consult the instructor at the beginning of class.

DISABILITY: If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss accommodation, please contact the instructor during the first two weeks of the course.


SCHEDULE: This schedule of topics and activities is tentative and may be altered in the first few weeks of the semester depending on the decisions the class makes about assignments and requirements.




1. Introduction

January 21

2. History and Background of Teacher Collective Bargaining

January 28

3. Teacher and Public Sector Unionism

February 4

4. Negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements

February 11, 18 (extra 30 minutes each)

5. Mediation and Fact Finding

February 18

6. Negotiation Exercise

February 25, March 4

7. Collective Bargaining and Educational Quality

March 18

8. Mediation/Fact Finding Exercise

March 25

9. Grievances and Arbitration

April 8

10. Grievance/Arbitration Exercise

April 22 (extra 30 minutes)

11. Collective Bargaining and Reforming the Educational System

May 6



WHAT I EXPECT FROM YOU:  I expect that you will come to class each day on time, having done the reading assignment and that you will be prepared to participate by asking and answering questions and by expressing your opinions. I expect that you will ask questions about anything you don't understand or with which you disagree. I expect that assignments will be done and turned in on time, that they will reflect the best work you can do and that they will reflect only your own work. I expect that you will contact me if you are having any problems in the course or if you are having personal problems which may affect your performance in the course. Overall, I expect you to work hard at getting the most out of this course that you possibly can.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ME:  You can expect that I shall come to class on time each day having thought about and prepared the material. You can expect that I shall answer your questions to the best of my ability and that your opinions will be heard with respect. You can expect that your assignments and exams will be graded carefully and returned in a timely manner and that you will be given an explanation of why you receive the grades you receive. You can expect that I shall make time to see you if you need to see me and that I shall keep regular office hours.

WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT FROM EACH OTHER:  A serious commitment to learning and a serious effort toward that end.

OUTCOMES: At the end of this course, the successful student will be familiar with the basic concepts related to labor relations in the school environment. The student will be familiar with commonly used tools and their limitations and will be able to explain both the tools and limitations and will be familiar with the information and data required to make labor relations decisions and will know how to find those data. The student will be familiar with major controversies in the field and will be able to articulate the basic arguments on both sides of those controversies.





1. Introduction

·        Hannaway and Rotherham, “Introduction,” in Hannaway and Rotherham

2. History and Background

·        Kahlenberg, “The History of Collective Bargaining Among Teachers,” in Hannaway and Rotherham


·        Doherty, "Public Education," in Gerald G. Somers, Collective Bargaining: Contemporary American Experience

3. Teacher and Public Sector Unionism

·        Farber, “Union Membership in the United States: The Divergence between the Public and Private Sectors,” in Hannaway and Rotherham

·        Murphy, “Collective Bargaining: The Coming of Age of Teacher Unionism,” in Boris and Lichtenstein, Major Problems in the History of American Workers

4.  Negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements

·        Hess and Kelly, “Scapegoat, Albatross or What? The Status Quo in Teacher Collective Bargaining,” in Hannaway and Rotherham

·        Hill, “The Costs of Collective Bargaining Agreements and Related District Policies,” in Hannaway and Rotherham

·        Hebdon and Stern, "Do Public Sector Strike Bans Really Prevent Conflict," Industrial Relations, July 2003

·        Partridge, "A Reexamination of the Effectiveness of No-Strike Laws for Public School Teachers," Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector, no. 4, 1988


·        Lunenburg, “Collective Bargaining in the Public Schools: Issues, Tactics, and New Strategies,” Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector, V.29, N.4, 200

·        Richard E. Walton and Robert B. McKersie, A Behavorial Theory of Labor Negotiations, Chap. 1, "Introduction and Theoretical Framework"

5. Mediation and Fact Finding

·        McKelvey, "Fact Finding in Public Employment: Promise or Illusion," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, July 1969

·        Karper, "Fact Finding in Public Employment: Promise or Illusion Revisited," Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector, V.23, n.4, 1994




·        Wall, Stark and Standifer, "Mediation: A Current Review and Theory Development," Journal of Conflict Resolution, October 2001

·        Posthuma et al., "Mediator Tactics and Sources of Conflict: Facilitating and Inhibiting Effects," Industrial Relations, January 2002

7. Collective Bargaining and Educational Quality

·        Johnson and Donaldson, “The Effects of Collective Bargaining on Teacher Quality,” in Hannaway and Rotherham

·        Goldhaber, “Are Teacher Unions Good for Students,” in Hannaway and Rotherham


·        Manna, “Teachers Unions and No Child Left Behind,” in Hannaway and Rotherham

9. Grievances and Arbitration

·        Lewin, "Theoretical and Empirical Research on the Grievance Procedure and Arbitration: A Critical Review," Eaton and Keefe, Employment Dispute Resolution and Worker Rights in the Changing Workplace

·        Zirkel and Miller, “Grievance Arbitration in K-12 Education Cases: Do Selected Case Characteristics Make a Difference?” Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector, V.28, N.4, 1999


·        Bacharach and Bamberger, "The Power of Labor to Grieve: The Impact of the Workplace, Labor Market and Power-Dependence on Employee Grievance Filing," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, July 2004

·        LaRocca, "Ambiguities in Labor Contracts: Where Do They Come From?" Dispute Resolution Journal, February-April 2004

11. Collective Bargaining and Reforming the Education System

·        Casey, “The Educational Value of Democratic Voice,” in Hannaway and Rotherham

·        Koppich, “The As-Yet-Unfulfilled Promise of Reform Bargaining,” in Hannaway and Rotherham

·        Moe, “Union Power and the Education of Children,” in Hannaway and Rotherham


·        Kerchner, “The Modern Guild: The Prospects for Organizing around Quality in Public Education,” in Brock and Lipsky, Going Public: The Role of Labor-Management Relations in Delivering Quality Government Services