October 2011 News from Policy Matters Ohio: The Benefits of Bargaining

- October 15, 2011

The Benefits of Bargaining

The union movement as a whole has helped ensure that workers throughout the economy – not just those in unions – share in economic growth, have decent wages and benefits, have good training, and are protected by health and safety regulations. But do public sector unions also bargain for provisions that more directly benefit the community? A Policy Matters report released yesterday used interviews, contract analyses and a review of the literature, to find that collective bargaining contracts often contain such broadly beneficial elements.

Key examples include safety officers negotiating for provisions that speed response times or keep skills up to date, teachers negotiating for more effective discipline or more enrichment classes, and nurses negotiating for better staffing ratios, which improve patient care. This report finds that community well-being is often enhanced when public sector workers have a voice to improve their own work conditions and the quality of services they deliver.

Senate Bill 5, passed in March 2011, sharply curtails collective bargaining in ways that would reduce the ability to bargain for such provisions. A ‘no’ vote on Issue 2 will prevent these sweeping changes.

That’s all,
The Policy Matters Team

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