Specifically, all the commotion revolves around a little issue called collective bargaining and the legal rights the proposed reform would take away from the state's public workers.
Surge Desk looked into the history of collective bargaining and offers the following primer.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, collective bargaining is a:
Collective bargaining is born
Method whereby representatives of employees (unions) and employers negotiate the conditions of employment, normally resulting in a written contract setting forth the wages, hours, and other conditions to be observed for a stipulated period (e.g., 3 years). The term also applies to union-management dealings during the term of the agreement.
Although the practice had been around for some time beforehand, Mrs. Sidney Webb, a British labor historian, coined the term "collective bargaining" in 1891.
The United States
The National Railway Act, passed in 1936, was the "first major piece of labor legislation passed by Congress." It ultimately proved to be a precursor for 1935's National Labor Relations Act, which made it illegal for employers to deny unions representing their employees the right to engage in collective bargaining.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy issued an executive order to grant all federal government employees the right to unionize and collectively bargain with departments and agencies.
Several international agreements protect collective bargaining rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right to collectively bargain in Article 23 of the text, where it states that every individual "has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests," and the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work also defends the freedom "to associate and to bargain collectively" as fundamental rights.
Finally, in June 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada extensively reviewed the merits of collective bargaining as a human right and came to the following conclusions:
"The right to bargain collectively with an employer enhances the human dignity, liberty and autonomy of workers by giving them the opportunity to influence the establishment of workplace rules and thereby gain some control over a major aspect of their lives, namely their work. ... Collective bargaining is not simply an instrument for pursuing external ends ... rather [it] is intrinsically valuable as an experience in self-government"For more Surge Desk coverage, check out:
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