Cliff Donn's Professional Home Page

Welcome. This page is largely devoted to my research interests with some items relating to my teaching as well.  You can send me an e-mail at

The first section of this page deals very briefly with my background.  The rest of the sections deal with my professional interests, in particular general issues related to industrial relations, maritime industrial relations and labor relations among public school teachers specifically, and Australia. You can skip directly to any of those sections by clicking on the appropriate title just below.

Industrial Relations
Teacher Labor Relations

Cliff's Background

My interest in labor issues stems from my undergraduate education. I received a B.S. degree from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in 1972 (having spent my junior year at the London School of Economics and Political Science).  I continued my education by entering the Ph.D. program in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where I received my Ph.D. in 1980.

I attended M.I.T. from 1972 through 1975 taking classes and teaching introductory labor economics in my third year.  After the 1975 school year, I moved to Sydney, Australia.  I lived in Sydney for three years while I worked on my Ph.D. dissertation on the history of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and taught at the University of New South Wales as a tutor and th en at Macquarie University (1976-1978) as a lecturer in Economics.

In 1978 I  returned to Boston where I spent the year at M.I.T. completing my Ph.D..  From 1979 until 1982 I was an assistant professor in the Department of  Economics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Since 1982, I have been teaching at Le Moyne College.  I  was hired as an Associate Professor but was promoted to Professor in 1987.  I served as chair of this department (Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management) from 1983 to 1995.  I was the first Director of the International Studies Program from 1987 until 1995.  I served as the Director of the Le Moyne College's study abroad program from1991 until 1998. In 2006 I joined the Department of Anthropology, Criminology and Sociology and in 2007 I became the chair of that department. The department of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management was abolished and in 2007 I became the director of its successor, an interdisciplinary program called Work and Employment Relations   If you would like to see a complete list of my  publications (books, articles, notes and book reviews) you can do so from here.

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Industrial Relations

I majored in Industrial and Labor Relations as an undergraduate at Cornell.  While my Ph.D. from M.I.T. is in Economics, I concentrated in labor economics and even within that subfield was particularly interested in institutional issues related to unions and collective bargaining.  At Macquarie and the University of Tennessee I taught in economics departments but I always taught at least partially in the areas of labor economics and labor relations.  Virtually all of my published work has been related to these areas.

Below you will find a series of links to unions and government agencies including data sources which may be of interest to students of economics and industrial relations.  There is also a set of links to the home pages I have created for the classes I teach.  If you are interested in my classes, this is a good place to look. 

US Labor Unions


This is a selection of links to major U.S. labor unions including the AFL-CIO.


American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees

American Federation of Teachers

American Postal Workers

International Association of  Machinists

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

New York State United Teachers

Service Employees International Union

Sheet Metal Workers International Union

United Auto Workers

United Food and Commercial Workers


International Labor Bodies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   This is a set of links to international agencies and labor bodies.

Canadian Industrial Relations Association: This is the leading Canadian professional association.

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions: Traditionally this was the international federation of peak union bodies based largely on the non-Communist countries and the non-Communist federations in the West but also including Australia and Japan.

International Labour Organization: This tripartite body based in Geneva is a branch of the United Nations.

Trades Union Congress: This is the central trade union federation in Britain

International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Unions: This is what is called an International Trade Secretariat.  It is a grouping of unions from around the world in a particular industry or set of industries.  There is a link to another of these, the International Transport Federation, below in the Maritime section.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Universities, Professional and Academic Organizations


These are links to the home pages of university departments and schools of industrial relations and closely related fields.  There are also links to academic and professional organizations.

American Arbitration Association: This is the leading dispute resolution body in the field.  It maintains panels of arbitrators and produces a wide variety of publications.

Labor and Employment Relations Association: This is the leading professional association in the field. It includes large numbers of academics but it also includes a sizable contingent of practitioners.

School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University:  This site contains a very large number of useful links to organizations and data sources.

University of California, Berkeley, This site has a very large number of useful links to organizations and data sources.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Government Agencies and Data Sources

Bureau of the Census: An excellent source of general and demographic data

Bureau of Labor Statistics: An agency of the U.S. Department of Labor.  The best source for a wide variety of data on industrial relations and the economy.

Labourstart: This is a source of world-wide trade union news.  It also has a link to Labor's Online Bookstore where you can see the latest available books on industrial relations and related topics.

National Labor Relations Board: The agency of the federal government entrusted with enforcing the rights of American workers with regard to unionization and collective bargaining.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Another agency of the U.S. Department of Labor

Unionstats is a page maintained by Barry Hirsch and David Macpherson based on government data. It is the easiest way to access comprehensive statistics on union membership and collective bargaining coverage in the United States. The data are organized by industry, by occupation, by state and by metropolitan area.

Cliff's Course Home Pages

These are all links to pages for courses I regularly teach (or regularly taught in the past) at Le Moyne College. These include both undergraduate and graduate classes (graduate classes are numbered 500 or higher).

IRL 101 is Introduction to Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management

IRL 201 is History of American Labor and Management

WER 401 is Collective Bargaining

IRL 402 is Arbitration

IRL 420 and IRL 421 are Comparative Industrial Relations Systems I and II.  The first course covers Canada and Western Europe.  The second covers Japan, Australia, several less-developed countries, Israel, China and South Africa.

ECO 313 is Labor Economics

HRM 470 is Alternative Dispute Resolution

HRM 702 is Conflict Resolution

EDL 502 is Leadership for Human Resource Development in Schools

EDL 510 is Labor Relations in the School Setting

SOC 345 is Conflict Resolution

SOC 311 is Sociology of Work

SOC/CJS 321 Law, Society and Social Science

CJS 101 Introduction to Criminology

CJS 220 The Criminal Justice System

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Maritime Labor Relations

1986 until about 2003, my primary research interest was in the area of labor relations in the maritime industry, and specifically among the seafarers themselves (as opposed to shore-side workers in the maritime industry). I have a number of articles published in that area as well as some related to Australian maritime labor relations (or which compare the Australian maritime experience with that in the USA) which have been written with Richard Morris (University of Western Sydney) and/or Gerry Phelan (Macquarie University).

I am currently working on a book-length manuscript on maritime labor relations.  I have a contract to write the book with MacMillan Press in London.

The most important agency regulati ng maritime programs in the USA is the US Department of Transport Maritime Administration, MARADMARAD's home page contains descriptions of a variety of programs and is an excellent source of data.

The International Transport Workers Federation, the ITF, brings together maritime unions from around the world.  The ITF has a long-standing campaign against flag-of-conveni ence vessel operators.  That campaign effectively involves one of the rare examples of international collective bargaining.

A general reference on the merchant marine (in large part devoted to honoring merchant mariners who have served in U.S.-fought wars) can be found at the American Merchant Marine homepage.  This has lots of wonderful links.

Maritime Unions and Employers

American Presidents Line

Crowley Maritime Corporation

International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots

Seafarers International Union

SeaLand Services

Sailors Union of the Pacific

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I developed an interest in Australian industrial relations and later in Australia more generally beginning during my senior year at Cornell University.  While in graduate school, I decided to write my Ph.D. dissertation on a topic related to the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the central union federation in Australia.

I left for Australia in 1975.  Over the next three years I lived in various locations on Sydney's north shore.  I remained there for three years, returning to the United States in July 1978.  I returned to spend part of my first sabbatical leave visiting at the University of New South Wales in the first half of 1989.  In 1992 I was invited to give a paper at the Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association so I returned for a brief visit at that time. In 1996, I spent a brief portion of his next sabbatical visiting at the University of Western Sydney. I spent the second half of 2003 teaching and doing research as a visiting professor at the University of Western Sydney's School of Management.

I have a number of publications relating to Australian trade unions and industrial relations as well as a couple relating more specifically to Australian maritime industrial relations.

Australian Web Sites

What follows is a brief set of links to Australian World Wide Web Home Pages.  Most relate specifically to Industrial Relations issues.

Australian Council of Trade Unions: This is the central union confederation in Australia.  I wrote my Ph.D. thesis about its history and economic policy.


University of New South Wales: Located in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.  This link is to the School of Industrial Relations and Organizational Behavior at the university.

University of Western Sydney: Located in Sydney's Western Suburbs, this is a multi-campus university. I taught there as a visiting professor during the second half of 2003.

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Teacher Labor Relations

My most recent research interest involves unionization and collective bargaining among public school teachers. While the popular press is full of assertions about teachers and educational quality ("Incompetent teachers can't be fired" "Teachers aren't motivated because they earn the same amount whether they do a good job or not" "Collective bargaining agreements base teacher assignments on seniority so the most problematic schools end up with the worst and with the least experienced teachers") there is very little reference to careful scholarly examination of these issues and even much of the scholarly literature is based principally on assertion. I am trying to look at teacher collective bargaining agreements to examine the extent to which these assertions have validity.

These links will help you find resources with regard to education, teacher unions, government agencies, etc.


The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is a union primarily of teachers (but organizing other school personnel as well. It has long been an advocate of collective bargaining for teachers. The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) is the New York State branch of the AFT and the union to which most teachers belong in the Central New York region.


The Empire Center for New York State Policy is a public interest group that seems to promote open government. Its web page contains links (look under contracts) to almost every teacher collective bargaining agreement in New York State.


The home page of the National Council on Teacher Quality has a new database that allows you to look at and download collective bargaining agreements and to search them for particular topics. At the moment the only one included for New York State is New York City.


The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest organization of teachers (administrators can join too) in the United States. It initially opposed collective bargaining for teachers but now actively engages in bargaining in districts where it represents teachers or other school employees.


The New York State Education Department is the place to look for a variety of laws and regulations governing human resource issues in public schools.


The New York State Public Employment Relations Board is the agency responsible for overseeing union organization and collective bargaining in New York State's public agencies (state and local) including its school districts. This agency supervises union election and representation procedures, provides assistance in negotiating impasses, rules on improper practices, and in other ways administers and enforces the Taylor Law.


The New York State School Boards Association provides a wide range of services to public school boards and school districts throughout the state. Lobbying with regard to labor relations law and advice on collective bargaining are two of those services.


The School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS) represents the interests of school administrators in collective bargaining and other contexts.


The United States Department of Education is the place to look for information on a variety of policies and issues that affect public schools as well as private and religious schools.

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