Nov. 30 2011
Public Sector Unionism
– Basic Concepts
– Distinct Challenges
– Early Efforts
– Associations and Consultation
– 1960's: Sudden Shift
– Since 70's: Pressures and Responses
– Impact On Labour movement
Public sector unionization rates in Canada are 50 to 60 %, in the private sector they are under 20%. This is a relatively new
– What is the Public sector and private sector?
Private sector is the marketplace- where you have private individuals and private organizations doing their work.
Corporations are included in private sector.Aprivate business whose shares are open to the public.
Public sector is the government, and people that work in the sector that is broadly driven by government decision and
Government as the employer does not respond or feel a sense of accountability the same way as a private enterprise.
Governments worry about the bottom line, but they are concerned constantly about the image. The public image of what
they are doing. There is concern about the cost of what public sector unions do to taxpayers.
Political patrons gave you the job.
Another distinct challenge in the public sector is the diversity. In one level you get the bureaucrats who execute decisions
the government makes.
The public sector was the weak point of unionization. Unions did not do that much to organize public sector workers.
Public servants increasingly want to be represented. They begin to form associations. Not to go on strike, but to get
consultation. The idea was that they knew how to influence the government & they'd be able to do that now about their own
working conditions. Expansion of the public sector changes the nature of the work. Increasingly view themselves at
workers. The majority of the public sector does not run the way it did in the past. Teachers, nurses, doc