A glimpse of the dispute resolution mechanism of interest arbitration.
In 1989, the 101st Congress was poised to pass legislation that would raise the current minimum wage from $3.35 to $4.65 an hour by 1992. The authors of The Ripple Effect of the Proposed Minimum Wage Increase examined the impact that such a raise would have on the American economy. Among their findings were that it will result in a sizeable degree of disemployment, as jobs are lost resulting from a 2.11 percent cumulative rise in the United States labor costs.
Explains the idea that, like other professionals, teachers could work for themselves, discusses the policy and political issues raised by the concept and addresses the issue of teacher unions. Dr. Kolderie believes that private practice teaching has major potential for the effort to improve America's educational system and the professional status of teachers.
In September 1987 some 29,000 teachers belonging to the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike for the ninth time since 1970. Frustration over this recurring pattern of strikes and the dismal academic performance of the district's students prompted the Illinois legislature to pass an education reform bill, which took effect on July 1, 1989. In this article, Dr. Myron Lieberman offered his precursory assessment of the plan to decentralize Chicago schools and predicted that it would only end in failure.
Discusses the need for a national non-bargaining teacher organization, how one could be established and what ough to be its philosphical orientation.
In "Agency Problems in Public Sector labor Relations," John L. Conant examines government unionism from the perspective of agency theory. He observes that, in essence, workers "hire" unions while citizens "hire" politicians to act as their agents and give them significant managerial discretion to pursue their own subjective agendas. Consequently, economic inefficiency in the public sector often occurs when union officers manage to "capture" public officials as their own agents.
Conant reviews the mechanism that makes private sector corporate managers effective agents of the stockholders and the control devices within the public sector that create significant agency problems. He discusses the mechanisms that enable union agents to "capture" public managers as their own agents and proposes alternatives in the form of property rights and contractual provisions for correcting the situation. It is his hope that such alternatives will help provide public officials with the incentives some may require in order to act in the best interests of the people that they are elected to represent.
To remedy chronic labor relation problems in the public sector, in 1970 the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 195. Patterned after the National Labor Relations Act, enactment of the state's Public Employee Relations Act was intended to insure a harmonious employer/employee relationship, whose occasional adversarial negotiations would always be superseded by union and management's mutual concern for the public good. Though the path be paved with good intentions, in Pennsylvania's Act 195: Twenty Years of Folly, Dr. Charles W. Baird finds a much more insidious reality.
As a result of Act 195, nearly 25 percent of all teacher strikes nationwide since 1970 have occured in Pennsylvania. Hardly an advertisement for harmonious labor relations. What makes matters worse is that the achievement level of state students has declined through the same period.
In Dr. Baird's own words, the purpose of this article is to "expose the fraud of Pennsylvania government sector unionism and to advocate repeal" of Act 195, as the date of its twentieth anniversary approaches. En passant, he offers a consideration of the effects to public sector bargaining on the state and the degree to which teacher unions have contributed to the failure of Pennsylvania's public schools.
Domestically, perhaps there is no more controversial issue confronting management/employee relations in America today than that of the random testing of workers for drug and alcohol use. The moral dilemma it raises in a democratic society attempting to balance the requirements for public safety with an individual's rights to privacy is a profound one. The precise point at which a citizen's inalienable, constitutional guarantee to freedom is infringed upon by forced testing is still being litigated in the courts on a case by case basis.
In Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace: A Public Sector Overview Since Skinner and von Raab, Dr. Matthew A. Kelly, an arbitrator, and Randall M. Kelly, an attorney, provide a status report on the issue in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's two rulings on drug testing. The authors do not involve themselves with an exposition of the moral debate swirling about the topic, but simply provide the reader with a concise analysis of the decisions and their possible ramifications.
Since 1983, allies of the construction trades unions have been attempting to maneuver legislation through the U.S. Congress that would prohibit a single employer from simultaneously operating both unionized and nonunionized subsidiaries. In June 1987, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would have banned double breasting or "dual shop" operations, only to see its measure fail to be acted upon by the Senate.
Undaunted by the setback, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Representative William Clay (D-MO) have already reintroduced the measure, in the guise of companion bills S. 807 and H.R. 931, in the 101st Congress. In Double Breasting and Pre-Hire Agreements in the Construction Industry, Stuart Schulman provides a history of the controversy, tracing its evolution through various stages of legislation and legal decisions to where it rests today.
President Kennedy's 1962 Executive Order 10988 precipitated a trend in American public sector unionism that is only beginning to reach fruition. Because it facilitated union organizing of the federal work force, and had similar repercussions on the state and local levels, the decades since have led to a blurring of the distinction between private and public sector unionism, as structural changes in the labor market have resulted in membership decline for the former and growth for the latter. Since membership growth translates into increased wealth, the political significance of this historical phenomenon becomes obvious.
This changing power center in the labor movement is one that has been previously addressed by Dr. Leo Troy in this journal. His concern that public sector unionists must pursue the socialization of income in order for all union members to share equally in available resources, is one he fears could result not only in the social engineering of American society but of the "global village" as well.
In The Great Transformation: From Private to Public Unionism in Atlantic Community Nations, Dr. Troy argues that this change has begun to manifest itself on both sides of the North Atlantic. Dr. Troy uses his statistical expertise on the membership trends of unions to bolster his argument that public sector unionism is moving in the same upward direction on an international as well as national scale.