The AFL-CIO’s Department for Professional Employees has issued the following news release:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2016—A national survey of non-union professional employees finds a majority of professionals support the idea of union representation in their workplace.
The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE)-sponsored survey was conducted online in October 2016 and interviewed 1,004 professional employees not currently represented by a labor union.
The major findings of the survey include:
- 56 percent of all professionals surveyed approve of having a union at their workplace
- Most professionals (61 percent) would support coming together in union to receive better salaries and raises
- More than half of professionals believe that union representation would improve their salaries as well as their health and retirement benefits
“Most professionals want and deserve a raise,” said DPE President Paul Almeida. “Professionals realize that by coming together in union they can earn better pay, benefits, and working conditions.”
Improving wages has become more important to professionals over the last 10 years. The survey found that better wages was the most convincing reason for professionals to consider joining a union, while professionals surveyed in 2005 did not rank better wages as a top reason.
The results also show that there is an opportunity to grow union support among professionals:
- Of the 441 professionals in the survey who disapproved of having a union at their current job, the majority (60 percent) only somewhat disapproved
- Only 30 percent of those who disapproved of a union in their workplace reported knowing a great deal or fair amount about unions
- Professionals who disapprove of unions still believe there is room for improvement in their salaries, benefits, and voice at work
“Most professionals who disapprove of unions do not hold strong anti-union sentiments,” said Almeida. “By providing more information about the advantages of a collective voice and demonstrating success through improving wages and benefits, union organizers can overcome many of the concerns disapprovers have about unions.”
The survey was conducted by Hart Research Associates. DPE will continue to analyze the results and release new demographic-based reports every two weeks.
The Department for Professional Employees (DPE) is a coalition of 22 unions representing over four million professional and technical union members. DPE affiliate unions represent professionals in over 300 occupations in education and healthcare; science, engineering, and technology; legal, business, and management; media, entertainment, and the arts; and public administration.