“Over the past 40 years, the number of state and local government jobs has grown at more than twice the rate of private-sector employment in New York, and the average pay of state and local government workers is higher than that of private-sector workers in most regions of New York,” states the Empire Center in a new report, “Taylor Made: The Cost and Consequences of New York’s Public-Sector Labor Laws.”
New York’s Taylor Law was enacted in 1967 to end a decade of strained and broken relations between municipal employees and employers that culminated in a major strike by city transit workers. It implemented ground rules for union organizing of public employees and negotiations with public employers. It also included a framework for resolving disputes.
The resulting peace, however, came at a price. Union rolls grew exponentially, driven by–and feeding–politically powerful union bosses who manipulated the system to their advantage.
The Empire Center study discusses the origins of the Taylor Law, how it has evolved over the past 40 years, and how policy reforms could better address today’s laws and economy. The center’s recommendations include:
- requiring that binding arbitration take into account the ability of a community to pay for a contract;
- striking the Triborough Amendment, which allows the raises granted in a previous contract to continue in the absence of a new contract; and
- reversing Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) rulings that restrict contracting out and other cost-saving practices.
— Ryan Bedford
For more information …
“Taylor Made: The Cost and Consequences of New York’s Public-Sector Labor Laws,” Empire Center: http://www.empirecenter.org/Special-Reports/2007/10/TaylorMadeReport.cfm
“Taylor Made: The Cost and Consequences of New York’s Public-Sector Labor Laws Part 2,” Empire Center: http://www.empirecenter.org/Special-Reports/2007/10/TaylorMadeReport2.cfm
Empire Center Policy Forum Focuses on Taylor Law (summary with audio and video files), Empire Center: http://www.empirecenter.org/Events/Index.cfm?EventID=15