Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Demise Of Public Sector Collective Bargaining?

The major unrest in public sector collective bargaining, initiated in Wisconsin and having spread like wildfire across the nation, is a clarion call to organized labor and public employers. Stop the madness!

Both sides need to alter radically their positions at the negotiating table if the collective bargaining process is to have any meaning in the future. Antiquated notions of exploitation and “line in the sand,” hard bargaining have resulted in fiscal crises which threaten the general public both in terms of service cuts and increased taxes. In the public sector, neither side appears willing to admit that without employers, there are no jobs and without the unions there are no employees. They are necessary evils to each other. Until this basic precept is accepted by both parties, progress is unlikely to be achieved; the mayhem of recent times will probably continue ad infinitum and ad nauseum. In the meantime, the public suffers while obstinance reigns supreme.

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