The Truth About Collective Bargaining for Public Service Workers

Deep and serious budget problems brought on by the Great Recession have prompted some politicians to vow to weaken, or even completely strip state and local public service workers of their right to bargain for fair wages and decent benefits. They claim collective bargaining ties their hands. They claim it harms the economy. They claim it is the cause of their budget problems. They’re wrong on all counts. It’s time to stop the lies. Collective bargaining not only benefits workers who belong to a union, it benefits employers as well. Unions increase productivity by 19 to 24 percent in manufacturing, 16 percent in hospitals and up to 38 percent in construction, and unions decrease employee turnover. Good labor and management relations enable employers to make the best use of their most valuable resources – the skills and expertise of their employees. Collective bargaining also provides a forum where employers and employees can tackle and resolve problems together.

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