Teachers’ Unions, Compensation, and Tenure

TitleTeachers’ Unions, Compensation, and Tenure
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWest, Kristine L.
JournalIndustrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society
Pagination294 - 320
Date Published2015///
Keywordscollective bargaining, compensation, teachers’ tenure, teachers’ unions, tenure, unionization

In this paper I show that school districts in which teachers negotiate via collective bargaining have greater returns to experience and grant tenure earlier than districts without collective bargaining. Districts that are unionized, either with or without legal collective bargaining protections, have higher returns to degrees and higher starting salaries than districts without a union. Unionization is not strongly correlated with the existence of output-based pay for performance but is correlated with the use of output-based measures in tenure decisions. Unionization is positively correlated with the number of junior teachers dismissed for poor performance but not strongly correlated with the number of senior teachers dismissed for poor performance.