University of Maryland faculty will vote this semester on a national union to represent them, even though professors do not have collective bargaining rights in Maryland.
Leaders of a one-year-old faculty coalition say they are dissatisfied with salary, tenure and promotion policies.
"The faculty is demoralized," says Robert Janes, a sociology professor and faculty coalition leader.
The coalition was formed after university president John Toll issued guidelines for faculty promotion and tenure last fall and professors complained that they were not consulted first.
Low salary levels also have angered University of Maryland faculty. According to a Maryland State Higher Education Board survey, salaries for university teachers are 11 percent below those at comparable institutions such as Michigan, California and Illinois.
Three national unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association and the American Association of University Professors, are competing to represent the Maryland teachers.
One of the unions -- the AFT -- is drafting a bill to allow Maryland professors to bargain collectively. A similar bill was defeated by the legislature last spring.
Approximately 660 teachers polled in October 1980 by a faculty council committee supported collective bargaining for the university's 1,260 tenured faculty.
Toll refused to comment on the coalition's efforts. "It is not an issue," said David Adamany, a university vice-president, who added that collective bargaining could cause the university to fall short of its goals of becoming one of the nation's top 10 schools. "The very best institutions pay their faculty on primarily a merit salary structure," Adamany said.
Many professors have refused to join the 240-member coalition, fearing union ties may further strain relations between the administration and faculty.