Labor Relations in the Public Sector, Fifth Edition: 5th Edition (Hardback) book cover

Labor Relations in the Public Sector, Fifth Edition

By Richard C. Kearney, Patrice M. Mareschal

© 2014 – Routledge

428 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466579521
pub: 2014-01-17
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pub: 2017-09-25
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Since publication of the fourth edition of Labor Relations in the Public Sector, public sector unions have encountered strong headwinds in many parts of the U.S. Membership is falling in some jurisdictions, public opinion has shifted against the unions, and political forces are leaning against them. Retaining the structure that made the previous editions so popular, this fifth edition incorporates a complete round of updates, particularly sections on recent trends in membership figures, new legislation, and new politics as they influence bargaining rights.


See What’s New in the Fifth Edition:

  • Up to date examination and analysis of public sector labor relations and collective bargaining
  • Important changes in the public labor relations and unionization landscape
  • Updated analysis of the financial and human resource outcomes of collective bargaining in the public sector
  • Collective bargaining institutions and processes in government

Completely updated in terms of the scholarly and professional literature and relevant events, the new edition identifies and explains the implications of the new collective bargaining environment, including financial and human resource management issues and outcomes. As in previous editions, collective bargaining and labor relations are addressed at all levels of government, with comparisons to the private and nonprofit sectors. Designed to be classroom friendly, it includes discussions of the most recent literature and case studies as well as end-of-chapter assignments and quizzes. Practical tips and advice are offered for those engaged in collective bargaining and labor relations.

Table of Contents

History and Development


Early American Unionism

Factors Contributing to Private Sector Union Decline

Unions in Government

Why Government Workers Join Unions—The Individual Perspective

The Unions Today


The Federal Government

Nonprofit Organizations

State and Local Government


Legal Environment of Public Sector Labor Relations


Right to Form and Join Unions

Labor Relations in Federal Employment: The Legal Basis

Legal Basis of Labor Relations in State and Local Governments


Fundamentals of the Bargaining Process


Public–Private Sector Differences

Electing a Union and Getting a Contract: The Elements of Collective Bargaining

Summary and Conclusions

Process and Politics of Public Sector Collective Bargaining


Internal Process and Politics

External Politics

Internal Bargaining Processes: From Traditional to Interest-Based Bargaining

Ratification of the Contract

Interest-Based Bargaining’s Potential

Summary and Conclusions

Financial Impacts of Unions and Collective Bargaining


Budget Making and Unions

Unions, Wages, and Benefits

Are Public Sector Workers Paid More Than Private

Comparing the Relative Effects of Unions in the Public and Private Sectors

Effects of Public Employee Unions on Compensation: Methodological Problems

Effects of Public Employee Unions on Compensation: A Review of the Findings

Responding to Public Sector Compensation Cost Increases

Productivity Bargaining (Gainsharing)


Union Impacts: Personnel Processes and Policies


Merit Systems

Specific Impacts of Unions on Personnel Functions and Policies




A Strike by Any Other Name

Public Sector Strike Activity

The Right to Strike in Public Employment

Legislation Pertaining to Strikes

Public Policy and the Incidence of Strikes

Why Public Employees Strike

Strike Tactics

Conclusions and a Look Ahead

Resolving Impasses: Alternatives to the Strike


Private Sector Experience

Impasse Resolution in Federal Employment

State and Local Government Impasse Procedures

Search for Flexibility

Uncertainty: Benefit or Bane?

Conclusion: The Benefits of Impasse Procedures

Living with the Contract


Collective Bargaining Agreement

Grievance Procedures

Grievance Arbitration

Grievance Procedures in Federal Employment

New Directions in Grievance Handling


Public Employee Unions in the Future


Decline of Private Sector Unions

Challenges for Public Employee Unions


Labor–Management Cooperation and Participative Decision Making

Public Employee Unions in the 2010s: Conclusion

Down but Not Out: The Case for Continuing the Good Fight



About the Series

Public Administration and Public Policy

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: