Worth the Fight

All across America, AFSCME members and the public face the threat of privatization of vital services that are fundamentally part of the public domain. From public works and social services to public schools and corrections facilities, corporations are trying to seize control of public services and public assets.

It is an employee’s legally protected right to organize and form a union. The National Labor Relations Act clearly states: "Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, to join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection." And the State Labor Relations Act contains similar language to protect state employees.

Union investigations are conducted when a union member files a grievance against his or her employer. A union representative is assigned to investigate the incident and determine what further action and union intervention is warranted.

Arbitration is a process where parties on both sides of a grievance, in this case, the employer and union representative, are allowed to air their issues in a formal hearing with an impartial third party. The arbitrator works to help the involved parties come to a compromise or, in the event of a stalemate, can issue a binding decision regarding the case.

The Truth About Collective Bargaining for Public Service Workers

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