Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Public Sector Unions and Reforms

The current Becker-Posner debate on public sector unions may be of interest to some of the readers here.

I have a feeling unions take on a reflexive life force of their own and often don't accurately reflect the entire preferences of their members. Though I appreciate this may be dubbed rather sanguine it does seem to me that narrowly conceived matters of 'procedural fairness' dominate disputes, and even rulings; beyond reason. The recent rulings on regal privilege days enjoyed by civil servants (and central bankers) seems to demonstrated this.

In any event these issues are likely to become more prevalent once the 'fire' in the banking sector gets under control.

As a thought on this: are social partners able to sit down and discuss national issues other than pay increases and holiday benefits? If not we might question the whole process of partnership agreement that was engaged in over the past 15-20 years. The honest concept of social partnership should not be lost; the arguments for it are now probably as strong as ever. Its up to government to make them! and get all the partners back in the room, on a regular basis.

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