Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Walker, Albert, 1920-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


Collective bargaining--Teachers--Illinois--Barrington; Collective bargaining--Teachers


Over 20 percent of 210 million persons in the United States attend public elementary and high schools. The students are taught by almost 2,000,000 teachers in 20,000 separate school districts. Each of these districts is governed by a board of lay citizens from the local community. Each state has its own laws governing the operations of its school systems, and methods of financing and available dollars vary widely. One of the most talked about subjects in elementary and secondary education today is collective bargaining between teachers and boards of education. While the union movement is not new to the United States, its emergence into the public sector and more specifically into public education is relatively recent. This paper traces the history of teacher organizations and their development into instruments for collective bargaining for their members. Particular emphasis is given to the evolution of the collective bargaining process in a small elementary school district in Barrington, Illinois. Also included are the results of a questionnaire sent to a sample group of registered voters in the District which attempted to assess the knowledge of those responding with regard to collective bargaining as well as their attitudes about the schools. The questionnaire also asked if respondent's opinions about the schools had been influenced by the advent of collective bargaining. Public attitudes have had great influence on the history of collective bargaining in the private sector, evidenced by the enactment of numerous labor-management relations laws over the years. Public schools are primarily controlled by the communities they serve, although greater funding by states and the federal government may effectively lessen the extent of this control. Will collective bargaining play a role in the fight for power over the schools? How do citizens feel about teacher unions and collective bargaining in education, and do their feelings have any effect on their perceptions of their educational system and its quality? Collective bargaining in education has taken many directions, and no doubt many years of experience will eventually result in a commonality of approach. However, the movement today shows evidence of an attempt to transplant the practices of the private sector to ground that is often proving infertile, and the results have been chaotic and often traumatic for all involved. The Barrington experience is no exception, but some of the lessons learned and applied in this situation may have value in future situations of a similar nature.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [91]-92)


190 pages




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