Volume 8

Policies and Practices of the Federal Labor Relations Authority Thornton, Amie D

Responding to the growing number of unionized federal workers, in 1969, President Nixon issued Executive Order 11491. The order was a pragmatic attempt to develop a comprehensive, centrally administered federal labor relations system. Control was to be placed in the hand of the Federal Labor Relations Board. The situation remained essentially static until the U.S. Congress passed the Title VII provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 which expanded the council's aegis and evolved it into the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

Since 1979, the authority has rendered numerous case law decisions threading that gray area between the collective bargaining privileges ceded to federal unions and the strict prohibition against their engagement in strike activities, coercive leverage used by organized labor in the private sector to effect management's decisions. Yet, over that period, there has been little critical and analytical attention paid to those decisions, some of which blatantly contradict one another.

Fact-finding in Perspective Jennings, Kenneth M

The abundance of literature on fact-finding has only served to create a troublesome source of error for practitioners in the field who require precise definitions of concepts. The authors of Fact-finding in Perspectiveattempt to clarify this arbitration device's many definitions, while surveying past research on its related effectiveness measures.

Perils in the Carnegie Forum Report on Teaching Baird, Charles W.

Dr. Charles W. Baird contends that the best way to reform public education is to break up its monopoly. A free market economist, he would like to see the market for educational services opened up and a tax credit or voucher plan instituted that would make it financially feasible for parents to enroll their children in private schools. He suggests that one of the major stumbling blocks to the Forum's approach to reform is that, in essence, it prepares to turn over the public education system to the teachers and hence their unions. He would prefer a competitive sytem of private schools guided by the entrepreneurial discovery process geared towards providing cost-effective, reasoned education.

Win/Win, Efective Schools and Reform: An Agenda for the 1990's Crisci, et al.

Dr. Pat Crisci, et al, while not advocating the continued unionization of the teaching profession, do reccomend an amelioration of the tension between labor and management, even if in some instances it necessitates dealing with union representatives. The authors suggest that, regardless of the nature of proposed reforms, before any can be enacted an atmoshpere of collegiality within the profession must be created. They promulgate a new employer-employee relationship that integrates both the need of school administrators to coordinate policy and of teachers to exercise individual initiative. Ultimately they hope that this will lead to mutual goal setting and a win/win approach to decision-making that both sides can live with.

The Proposed Fire Fighters' Labor Act of 1987: An Analysis and Critique Troy, Leo

With the convening of the 100th Congress, last February, Representative William Clay introduced a bill (H.R. 1201) which would use the power of the federal government to force state and local governments to recognize and bargain with firefighter unions. The measure would further mandate that firemen pay "representation fees" as a condition of their employment. Although the bill contains a "no strike" provision, a strike is not defined as an unfair labor practice, thus, exempting such an action from its enforcement provisions.

Dr. Leo Troy in The Proposed Fire Fighters' Labor Act of 1987 offers a discerning analysis of this legislation, discussing it from both the perspective of state and sovereignty and its effects on the budgetary process. Her fears that its enactment would be one more step on the path towards obliterating the distinction between public and private sector labor relations with all the ramifications such an event would entail.

Nationalization and Privatization in Contemporary France Jacquillat, Bertrand

France presents an interesting case study since, as the government is currently constituted, the conservative Chirac must contend with the reality of dealing with incumbent Socialist President Francois Mitterrand.

When Mitterrand ascended to the presidency in 1981, with a victory that also gave the Socialists control of the prime minister's office, he inaugurated a massive, and economically destructive, nationalization policy. Its effects and the politics that have now brought about the beginning of its reversal are the subject of Nationalization and Privatization in Contemporary France by Dr. Bertrand Jacquillat.

British Columbia Labour Legislation: Getting a Grip on Unions. Dobie, Geroge

British Columbia, the most heavily unionized province in Canada, has suffered decades of public and private sector labor strife. In April 1987, the Social Credit government of B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm enacted legislation amending its current labor laws in order to stabilize labor relations and renew investor confidence in the region. The breadth of labor reform in many ways resembles that exercised by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on a national level.

The primary vehicle for reform was Bill 19, which: empowered the government to order an end to strikes detrimental to the public interest, outlawed secondary boycotts, permits employers to set up nonunion shops, expanded government's role in the collective bargaining process and limited public employee wage increases. A second measure, Bill 20, included further protection for workers who choose not to participate in future general strikes.

In British Columbia Labour Legislation: Getting a Grip on Unions, Canadian journalist George Dobie examines the reformed labor code, the unions' reaction to it and offers a prognosis for future provincial labor relations. He places this reform in historical perspective by prefacing it with a retrospective on the decades of labor legislation that preceded it.