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Schoenfeld, Clay (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 49, Number 9 (June 1948)

Faculty profile,   pp. 18-20


Teachers' Union campaigns to raise faculty salaries,   p. 20


Page 20


tion, encouragement of voluntary arbi-
tration, and experiment with new set-
tlement techniques.
as moderator, to draw up a code of
principles. This code would seek to ef-
fectuate the process of collective bar-
  Here is the Feinsinger formula in his gaining, and would also provide a
own words                              procedure for handling breakdown of
  1. Labor-management conference: "I bargaining in nationally-important
in-
think a conference of the top leaders dustries. We had this procedure during
in industry, business and labor should the war, and the economic future of
be held with the government sitting in America is just as much in jeopardy
Teachers' Union Campaigns
To Raise Faculty Salaries
   THE 135-MEMBER University of
 Wisconsin Teachers' Union is cam-
 paigning to restore real faculty in-
 comes to pre-war standards in order
 to prevent further loss of outstanding
 teaching personnel.
   "The current salary level is still
 below the pre-war real income level,"
 according to James S. Earley, MA '34,
 associate, professor of economics and
 vice-president of the Teachers' Union.
 He explains that continued increases in
 the cost of living have more than off-
 set recent salary boosts. Because of
 this factor, he describes the Univer-
 sity's hold on many of its highly
 qualified teachers as "precarious."
 The local Teachers' Union is affiliated
 with the American Federation of
 Teachers and the Wisconsin Federation
 of Labor. In addition to pledging it-
 self to furthering the welfare of the
 faculty in the matter of salaries and
 working conditions, the Union is ac-
 tively concerned with the housing prob-
 lem, maintains a legislative committee
 to lobby for the good of the field of
 education, insists on academic freedom,
 and strives for progress in general
 educational policy.
 In addition to Vice-President Earley,
the present officers are Paul T. Ells-
worth, professor of economics, presi-
dent; Miss Helen I. Clarke, x'31, as-
PAUL ELLSWORTH, professor of econom-
ics, is president of the University of
Wisconsin Teachers' Union.
20
sociate professor of social work, treas-
urer; and Paul L. MacKendrick, as-
sistant professor of classics, secretary.
All full-time and    assistant faculty
members, as well as research workers,
are eligible for membership.
   It is generally believed that the
 Union provided the major imtetus to-
 ward the realization during the cur-
 rent year of a $400 adjustment on all
 faculty salaries, based on a 20 per cent
 increase on the first $2000. The boost
 grew out of a detailed study on the
 need for higher salaries submitted by
 the Union to a faculty committee and
 the University administration in April,
 1947. Copies were also presented to
 the Board of Regents, the Legislature,
 and the press.
   The study   graphically illustrated
 how the cost of living index had sky-
 rocketed 53 per cent in the period,
 1940-47, while University salaries, in
 terms of actual purchasing power, had
 dropped an average of 20 per cent. As
 an indication of the disparity between
 teachers' income and that in other
 fields, the study showed that at the
 same time per capita income in the
 state rose by 50 per cent and the real
 average income of employees in manu-
 facturing industries .increased by 18
 per cent.
   The report likewise included facts to
 show how faculty salaries were being
 substantially increased at most of the
 country's universities. At three neigh-
 boring universities, in particular, the
 excess of average salaries over Wiscon-
 sin's ranged from $324 for instructors
 to $1,943 for professors.
   In  the  seven  months   since the
 U n i on' s statistical compilation, the
 breach between income and purchas-
 ing power has become "increasingly
 wider," according to Earley. The No-
 vember cost-of-living index, he points
 out, was 62 per cent higher than that
 of 1940. The latest figures on faculty
 salaries, obtained from a report of a
 University committee made at a fac-
 ulty meeting Nov. 3, 1947, indicate that
 only instructqrs have displayed a pro-
 portionately high. gain, a 46 per cent
 increase. Increases in the seven-year
 period for professors, associate profes-
 sors, and assistant professors range
 from 30 to 34 per cent.
 When asked whether he personally
 endorses the right of teachers to strike,
 Professor Earley declares that in gen-
 eral he doesn't. He doesn't rule it out
 entirely, however, because he believes
 that there may possibly be a time when
 it will be the teacher's only effective
weapon.
as the political future was after Pearl
Harbor.
   "As part of the program, I hope that
 labor would agree not to exercise its
 right to strike, and management would
 agree not to lock out. The war expe-
 rience has taught me that if even a few
 men at the top agree, the effect will
 be widespread."
   2. Collective bargaining: "We really
 haven't tried collective bargaining to
 any extent in the mass production in-
 dustries. There was just three years of
 it, from 1937 until war controls were
 imposed, and since the war ended, we
 have had only a few months of real
 collective bargaining.
   "I believe that better progress could
 be made in collective bargaining if the
 top executives took part in it. Nor
 should we be doing things to discourage
 collective bargaining, like efforts to
 break down unions, or to pass repres-
 sive legislation."
   3. Mediation and conciliation: "Let's
 try to perfect the processes of concilia-
 tion and mediation, as supplements to
 collective bargaining. There is a lot of
 room for improvement. One step would
 be real financial support for the Con-
 ciliation Service. Those boys are the
 real unsung heroes. Nobody ever hears
 about the great number of disputes
 they settle, and it is only the unsuc-
 cessful cases that get public attention."
 4. Voluntary a'rbitration: "We should
 encourage and extend the use of vol-
 untary arbitration. C o n t r a r y to a
 belief in some quarters, unions have
 been trying for years to get arbitra-
 tion of grievances arising out of con-
 tracts, and industry is now beginning
 to go along with this program. Arbi-
 tration of contracts is also growing.
 One handicap is a lack of really cap-
 able arbitrators."
 5. Use  of new      techniques: "We
 should experiment with new techniques,
 such as fact-finding boards. Where
 these boards were used, even though
 their findings were not always imme-
 diately accepted, they were usually the
 basis for a settlement, or gave 'some-
 thing to shoot at' in negotiation. Other
 new techniques are the mayor's advi-
 sory committee in New York, the sim-
 ilar Toledo plan, and the Vermont plan
 which provides a management-labor
 group, without the public.
 "In every city we could use such a
 group, made up of public-sirited 'cit-
 izens with no axe to grind, who could
 be ready to step into any dispute and
 assist in settling it."
 Feinsinger would be the first to
 admit that no amount of fancy blue-
 prints like this will solve America's
 labor problems. But he does insist that
 study and planning are important, that
 continual playing-by-ear is foolish.
 In between teaching in the old stone
 Law Building at Wisconsin and enjoy-
 ing a quiet home life in Madison with
 his family, Strike Doctor Feinsinger
 keeps a close watch on the national
 scene. Through the cooperation of Pres.
 E. B. Fred he has a standing agreement
 with the University that he can take
 off from the campus whenever the
 phone rings and the Secretary of Labor
 says,
 "Nate, get out there and settle that
strike!"


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