Saturday, March 5, 2011

Collective Bargaining and the Bottom Line-- A Q & A with Heritage Foundation's James Sherk

Faced with an $8 billion budget deficit, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is on the verge of signing a bill that would prevent state employees from using collective bargaining to negotiate their health and pension benefits. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has pushed a similar bill, which has drawn national attention, spawned weeks of protests, and sent Democratic lawmakers fleeing the state as a way to stall its passage.

Two other GOP governors facing major budget crises – New Jersey’s Chris Christie and Michigan’s Rick Snyder – have made it clear that they don’t see restricting bargaining rights as the key to more austerity. Texas, North Carolina, and Louisiana face major budget deficits, and in those states public employees don’t have collective bargaining rights.

To what extent is collective bargaining to blame for out-of-control state spending? Is clamping down on the ability of public-employee unions to negotiate an important tactic for closing what may grow to a combined $125 billion gap in state budgets next fiscal year?’s Nick Gillespie sat down with the Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk to talk about what collective bargaining means to the bottom line of states.

1 comment:

  1. Collective bargaining for public employees is a sticky issue because we love our public employees. Sometimes I wonder if the simple solution to many of these problems is simply to require immediate payment. Surely actuaries can come up with pretty good numbers to ensure a constantly funded plan. When people are taxed today for the commitments they will evaluate them appropriately.
    These pension commitments are a way for State and local governments to run deficits. The same thing goes for the National level. You want to invade Iraq? Fine, here's the special tax increase.