The Agenda of Public Sector Unions and Associations

Leo Troy, professor of economics at Rutgers University, writes of "The Agenda of Public Sector Unions and Associations." He points out that the explosion of public sector unionism occurred during a period of a rapidly expanding public sector and strong political encouragement. Conditions have changed substantially, however, Dr. Troy says. "Fiscal concerns have replaced easy spending and the collapse of the air traffic controllers' strike signaled a modified, perhaps new, attitude toward labor relations by managers and officials in the public sector. It would appear that public sector unions and associations face a difficult agenda item in seeking what they characterize as 'full scope collective bargaining': the removal of limitations on bargaining issues, the right to negotiate union and agency shop, and the right to strike."

Among Dr. Troy's conclusions: union strength is waning in the public sector and may, in fact, have passed its peak; a reason for unions' pressing for "more government" involvement to turn the tide.