No Collective Bargaining for Public Servants

Public servants — meaning government employees — don’t work for greedy miscreants exploiting them for personal profit. They work for democratically elected officials representing the will of the people. This is just one reason why there is no legitimate role for government unions, and there should be no collective bargaining rights for public servants.

Since public servants work for the people, their wages, benefits, and working conditions are set in accordance with the will of the people, as determined by the democratic process. This is why it is not legitimate to ask the people to compromise with public servants in collective bargaining. And this is why the pay, benefits, and working conditions for federal workers are set by acts of Congress, not through collective bargaining.

If public servants do not like the pay, benefits, and working conditions offered to them by the people as determined through the democratic process, nothing requires them to be public servants. This is why public servants are not slaves without collective bargaining, as soon-to-be-unemployed collective bargaining agents have suggested.

via Pajamas Media » Even FDR Understood: No Collective Bargaining for Public Servants.

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4 thoughts on “No Collective Bargaining for Public Servants”

  1. In my experience as a public servant, the only thing I have gotten out of collective bargaining is a yearly loss to inflation.

  2. Surfing for PHP news, but hey, what the heck:

    “Public servants — meaning government employees — don’t work for greedy miscreants exploiting them for personal profit.”

    Aha. I would submit that this statement is wrong, and hence anything relying upon it (say, the whole article) is also wrong.

    “They work for democratically elected officials representing the will of the people.”

    I’d say that was wrong too. Here’s my ten-minute thesis:

    Government is run on behalf of the wealthy, a side-effect of largely unregulated capitalism. Candidates that can be bought – on either side of the US bipartisan divide – will owe a debt to the wealthy/corporate purchaser. Handily for the status quo, anyone who cannot be bought generally won’t rise up far enough to make a difference – a sort of in-built filtering system.

    This ‘corporatism’ has had the effect of the wealthy getting wealthier, and the poor getting poorer, especially for countries that have followed the Washington Consensus. Another-side effect is that increasing amounts of money flows from the public sector to the private sector, by design. The end result in the US, and in the UK where I’m based, is that an elite class of millionaires is created at the same time as a burgeoning impoverished class. One group clearly has too much money, and the other cannot afford to eat or go to the doctor – a non-ideal solution.

    Now, if increasing amounts of public funds are being paid to private companies, there are less funds available to pay public employees. This occurs at the same time as a financial crisis that was caused by the wealthy elite in the first place, and which ordinary people – like public employees – are expected to pay for, in lost jobs, loan/mortgages defaults and hyperinflation. Hence, the cost of living goes up just as a cost squeeze is being implemented. So, public workers – who have no negotiating power by themselves – need a group to represent them.

    So, the reason why I disagreed with the first sentence is that government employees are +indeed+ being exploited for personal profit, but the government intermediary – effectively a corporate functionary masquerading as a public-service entity – masks this quite well.

    By coincidence, I found myself some while back on a friend-of-a-friend email broadcast that bemoaned the “easy ride” of the British public sector, and emphasised the author’s view that the private sector gets a much tougher deal. Much of it disagreed with public sector wage strikes on the basis that their private, non-unionised jobs hadn’t seen inflationary adjustments for years. I countered that the email rather misunderstood one of the dynamics of capitalism: if workers can be pitted against each other (on the basis of public/private, white/black, union/non-union, etc), they will spend their time fighting each other, rather than the elite who exploit them.

    Back to the linked article here, it concludes by suggesting that proponents of anti-unionisation are “protecting the interests of working people” – with the above in mind, I’d submit that was a rather hollow claim indeed!

  3. I was just here to read about PHP, but this post was good too!

    I didn’t even get through the first sentence of Jon’s response without laughing.

    Anyway, it looks like you have some good stuff here. Welcome to my blogroll!

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