Volume 2

The Right to Strike: Some Basic, but Neglected Questions.

As public sector unionism has left behind its baby shoes, come into the limelight, and, in fact, become the only growth area in organized labor, so has the verbiage mushroomed and "rights, privileges, and prerogatives" have been used and abused both verbally as well as in action. When the Review was launched into publication over a year ago, one of its primary purposes was to serve as a reminder that, whatever form labor relations would take in the public sector and no matter how obscured the area became, there was a fundamental difference between the private and public sectors. The direct application of labor relations terminology to the public service, has too often resulted in the obliteration of some basic and very important distinctions between our economic system and our representative form of government. Obviously, the two systems operate on compatible (more or less), but certainly not the same, principles.

The strike by the air traffic controllers has served as a potent, if bitter, pill to stimulate public interest and awareness in this controversial field. In publishing the article by John C. Armor on the "right" to strike, our objective admittedly is not to settle any of the issues, but simply to raise them and to force some second thoughts on subjects and theories which have by virtue of repetition almost been set in concrete.

Contracting Out Federal Employment

Contracting out in the federal government promises to be one of the most controversial and hotly-debated issues when the Reagan Administration, heavily in favor of contracting out services as a savings device, tries to get its budget cuts passed in Congress. Paul Staudohar's article on the subject offers a comprehensive overview of contracting out, its pros and cons, its logical aspects and political overtones. Contracting out is not a new phenomenon, but as federal sector unions have grown larger, more influential and militant, the practice has come under increasingly heavy criticism and attack. The American Federation of Government Employees of the AFL-CIO, the largest federal employees union, has even established its own department exclusively engaged with contracting out which lobbies against such legislation and is active on the legal front, battling specific subcontracting practices within various federal agencies and departments.

Report of Seminar Held at St. Geroge's House, Windsor Castle, England, "Public Services and the Private Alternative"
PSRF - Special Edition

Summary coming soon! 

Unions, Civil Rights and The City Treasury: What Not to Do When the Union Comes to Town.

Otto Hewitt, remaining closer to home, provides some useful suggestions regarding public employee discrimination suits resulting from unionization of city work forces. To financially-strapped municipalities and other cities preparing for forthcoming financial cutbacks and restrictions, practical advice on avoiding costly damage suits should be most welcome.

Freedom to Contract: Blacks and Labor Organizations

Takes a critical look at the realtionship between organized labor and blacks. This article, reprinted with permission by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, is especially relevant at the moment in view of the coalition between the AFL-CIO and various minority organizations which found expression on Solidarity Day in Washington, DC, September 19.

Collective Bargaining and the Freedom to Learn

Russell Kirk presents a further aspect of academic freedom to school personnel administrators, namely that of the freedom to learn. Although the speech was made prior to the November elections, we feel it still has a worthwhile message regarding teacher union political activity.

In an article that was originally published in Canadian Public Policy, Sandra Christensen tackles the subject of Canadian federal sector pay comparability and argues for a retrenchment in the current system in favor of independent pay boards which would apply certain criteria in setting pay scales.

The Costs of Collective Bargaining in the Modesto School Districts: A Case Study

According to the labor relations industry, the standard measurement for the success of any labor relations framework is the degree of resulting "labor relations harmony" and "labor peace." In public employment, however, another consideration is gaining equal, if not greater importance in the face of growing tax revolts and budget constraints on public officials. The cost aspect of the collective bargaining process is in dire need of accurate and reliable assessment techniques if forecast and fiscal planning are to be of any practical value. Local government fiscal insolvency, after all, has occurred often enough to deserve serious attention to its various causes and methods of avoidance. The Costs of Collective Bargaining in the Modesto City School Districts: A Case Study, is limited to the costs of the bargaining process itself and does not include results of bargaining, such as salary increases and fringe benefits.