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to insure a harmonious employer/employee relationship, whose occasional adversarial negotiations would always be superseded by union and management's mutual concern for the public good.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.