Legislation

Pennsylvania's Act 195: Twenty Years of Folly. Baird, Charles W

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to insure a harmonious employer/employee relationship, whose occasional adversarial negotiations would always be superseded by union and management's mutual concern for the public good.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

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.

A Casual Analysis of State Labor Legislation, 1963-1973.

Associate Professor of Political Science at Idaho State University, Anne Merline McCulloch, critically analysizes the popular belief that the passage of pro-labor legislation on the state level depends on Democratic control of a legislature. This is a particularly timely piece because of organized labor's move toward supporting Democratic candidates exclusively, in the belief that labor demands will only be met by them. Dr. McCulloch indicates that other factors are responsible for passing pro-labor legislation, but party identification is not one of them. "[U]nions should not rely heavily on electing Democratics to state government in order to further their interests, as a Democratic state government in and of itself will not significantly improve the chances over those of a Republican controlled government in passing favorable legislation," she says of her findings.