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Strikes and Strike Penalties in the Public Sector

Item

Title

Strikes and Strike Penalties in the Public Sector

Date

1981

Abstract

Strikes by public employees are analyzed in this study. Four chapters and an appendix are devoted to an overview of the issues raised by public employee strikes, the design of the study, an historical analysis of trends in the number of public employee strikes, the theoretical impact of strike penalties on strikes and bargaining outcomes and a legal analysis of strike penalties. Five chapters are devoted to an analysis of the strike experience and policies in Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin. Chapter 10 reports the results of a statistical analysis of strikes by teachers, firefighters, police and nonuniformed municipal employees in a sample of governments from six of the seven states. Although numerous qualifications apply to each finding, the major conclusions from the study are: 1) Strike penalties that are consistently enforced can decrease the number of public employee strikes. 2) Interest arbitration can also significantly reduce the number of strikes. 3) Union recognition disputes resolved through state mandated election procedures appear to reduce union recognition strikes. 4) State educational policy that determines how school aid and lost school days are to be handled when teachers strike has at least as great an impact on teacher strikes as strike penalties included in collective bargaining legislation. 5) No long lasting, detrimental affects of public employee strikes were detected in the analysis of legal strikes in Hawaii and Pennsylvania. 6) Although no empirical evidence was presented, our theoretical analysis of strike penalties suggests that they lower bargaining outcomes below what they would be in the absence of penalties. 7) Numerous unanswered questions about public employee strikes were raised by these results that deserve additional investigation.

Bibliographic Citation

Weisberger, June. Public Meeting of the Commission on Sex Discrimination in the Statutes on the Wisconsin Marital Property Reform. Trenton: The Commission, 1981.