What Are Some of the Differences Between Public and Private Sector Unions  Term Paper

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Public and Private Sector Unions?

More than 200 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have in recent times supported the Employee Free Choice Act to permit workers the freedom of choice to develop unions. The consequences of the support surrounding the legislation and the larger concentration on the economy and workforce-related issues have made the right of workers and unions the topic of many discussions across the country. (What America is saying...About Labor Unions?) There has been an expansion of public sector unionized employment that seems to show the way to a larger government and assist in higher taxes. In 1932, the movement to systematize the public employees was started and it acquired strength along the way with the election of liberal government administrations at all grades of government. (The Unreasonable power of public employee unions)

In 1958, a significant administrative action happened when Robert Wagner, Mayor of New York City gave combined bargaining rights to unions representing city employees. President John Kennedy at the federal level gave out an executive order in 1961 that justified combined bargaining for federal employees and offered the motivation for related action by other levels of government allowing this right for all public employees. (The Unreasonable power of public employee unions) Many of the unions in the private sector are in crafts and industries that have few companies or that are focused in one part of the country. This is logical. The factors like few employers or regionally concentrated employers make organizing manageable. On the other hand the large number of employers and the regional dispersal of employers intensely restrict unionization in trade, services, and agriculture. A 1989 unionization rate of 35% in the public sector versus 12% in the private sector additionally reveals that unions do best in profoundly controlled, monopolistic environments. (Labor Unions)

For most private sectors the Federal labor laws give workers the privilege to collective bargaining, but it does not expands this same fundamental employment right for those who work for state governments or institutions. For the public sector workers, the laws concerning collective bargaining differ extensively across the country. (Public Sector Unions Aim for Bargaining Rights) It can be seen that rivalry among businesses compels the private-sector unions to be logical in their requests or confront losing employment for their members by creating business insolvency. But with government there is no such rivalry. There is a dispute that in the areas of rivalry and consumer choice, there is a main difference between government and the private economy. For instance, private-sector businesses that discuss union contracts with excessive pay and incompetent work rules are in a short time compelled to increase their prices and give up their customer service to meet the demands of their labor agreement. (Important Differences between Government and Private-Sector Unions)

But the customers have options and they will keep away from high prices and poor services by supporting other businesses. This rivalry forces the labor unions to be sensible in their demands or face losing employment for their members by causing business insolvency. But with government there is no such rivalry. The citizens and taxpayers have no other option, if a state government discusses expensive and incompetent union contracts with state employees. Citizens have no straight way to take on lower cost roads, support a less expensive prison system, or otherwise look for alternatives in the working of state government, without packing up and moving to another state. People who do not or cannot move are compelled to either keep on paying higher taxes or else use their time, energy, and money influencing their elected officials for change, which most just cannot provide to do. People cannot simply opt for a better supplier of government activities unlike the private sector. Thus the government employee union faces slight external pressure to mediate their requirements. This is the reason why the wages and benefits for government employees are often higher than wages and benefits of private sector employees. (Important Differences between Government and Private-Sector Unions)

The American Airlines flight staffs make their choice in accepting that 15% pay cuts is a bright reminder about the difference between private sector and public sector unions. The flight staff knows that without their indulgence their employer will be lead to insolvency. This could have even intended huge pay cuts, or extensive layoffs, or even the end of the firm and the loss of all their jobs. But in the public sector, the unions and their members have only some such reservations. They can ask for ever-higher wages and benefits and once they get them, decline to agree to any compromise at difficult times. Generally, the outcomes are not their interest. If one calls them they can observe the continuing talks between the government and the state employee unions. Usually the unions say they will give back nothing. And why should they? They have nearly do not have anything to lose by staying stiff. (Private v. public unions)

Public sector employees are not dealt with the type of contest for their particular work that is present in the private sector and they can use excessive pressure, including the warning of a strike, with little chance of being punished or substituted. Normally public sector employees have the benefit of very good peripheral benefits like that of health, disability, sick leave, life insurance, and pension and job security. When requests are made by public union officials to raise salaries because they are not equivalent to those in private industry one never hears reference made to these usually better peripheral benefits benefited by those in the public sector. Besides it is very hard to sack a public sector employee due to the provisions' defending their employment that is written into law. (The Unreasonable power of public employee unions)

Public unions that have larger power to influence their needs on their employees than any private sector unions that exist have developed. (The Unreasonable power of public employee unions) The public sector has made an effort to react in order to protect their members, which have led to its development when compared to the private sector unions. If not less effective but less clear have been the tussles behind the scenes, as governments have struggled to develop public-sector performance. To protect these workers' established rights, union negotiators have waged a largely losing battle, while frequently acknowledging in private that something has to be given. (Trade unions. Deja vu?)

Nearly all-union officials know that their prospect depends on organizing the public sector. In fact, the difference between public and private sector unions is fading. The days have gone when government workers were considered to be the object of union organizers from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the American Federation of Government Employees, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. As of today, the union organizers in the public sector are mainly from the Steelworks, the Auto Workers and the Teamsters. These unions in addition to organizing present jobs in the public sector are devoted to raising the number of government jobs. This indicates that they promote for more government programs and labor to select candidates who will vote for higher taxes to pay for them. (Unions Turn to Public Sector as Membership Declines) Certain public sector unions are working to change private sector non-union jobs to ones in the public sector. (The Unreasonable power of public employee unions)

Over the past 30 years, union membership in the private workforce has gone down by half, as per the Public Service Research Foundation. Today, only one in six workers is a card-carrying union member and the percentage is still lesser in the private sector. (Will Unions Change) In 1950s, unions rendered 35% of the private sector employees, but today it is 10%. The fall in pension protection is the one obvious effect. 71% of private sector workers were insured by defined-benefit pension plans in 1975. But as of today only 26% have such plans, which assure a set monthly annuity benefit. (In My Opinion: Business Scandals Underscore Unions' Vital Role)

Though America is an effective political force, a fall in the union membership means the political influence of organized labor faces a decline as well. To make their members more of a creative force for industry in America, private sector unions can carry on with their unsuccessful policies of the past and see their numbers shrink, or they can implement new negotiating methods. Unions have used up huge sums for a long time to setback their riches by forceful efforts to organize new industries and employ new members. Evidently these hard works are not running well on a national scale. (Will Unions Change)

To conclude, the hope of the American labor movement puts forward institutional improvements as the answer, rather than probing whether workers still appreciate the stimulus that supported union activity in the past. In the present days' workplace, the matter is no longer as how…

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