Study: Unionized Employees are Healthier Than Non-Union Counterparts

June 13, 2012 12:16 PM , Updated July 7, 2019 10:51 AM
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A recent study from Duke University indicates that unionized employees are healthier than their non-union counterparts.

The study is based on a survey of 11,000 union and non-union members who were asked questions about their general health. Researchers
found that 85 percent of unionized employees reported being in good
health versus 82 percent who are not part of a union membership. That 3
percentage point difference accounts for 3.7 million employees.

A significant factor on improved health was household income. The study found that for each $1,000 of real income, the odds of favorable health increase by a factor of 1.02. The researchers also found that unionization predicts higher income in the participants studied, thus potentially helping to improve overall health.

Tully Rinckey PLLC Union Development Specialist Mark Roth said the study provides an important reminder of what is at stake when contracts are negotiated.

Roth said, “When negotiating contracts, management and union officials must strike a delicate balance that not only advances the efficiency of government but also protects the well being of bargaining unit members. Given the cloudy political and economic climates, management may feel it has the upper hand at the bargaining table. This study highlights what’s at stake for bargaining units and how, with the right strategy, it can not only be preserved but also improved upon.”

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.