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Public Service Without Public Servants

A discussion of the privatization and outsourcing of traditional public functions, and of the contracting

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The author notes the shift from regulation to competition in the trucking, telecommunications, and energy industries (natural gas and electricity), and its effect on labor agreements. The author asserts that labor-management relations should be correspondingly restructured into a “new social compact.” The GM-Toyota New United Motors (“NUMMI”) experience is offered as an example.

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NAA president Dybeck reviews his experience as arbitrator in the steel industry, giving credit to the many contributions of the “founding fathers” of the Academy to the decision-making process.

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In grievances of the right to subcontract where the CBA is silent on the matter, Attorney Clark presents reasons why arbitrators should apply a standard in public sector cases different from that applied in private sector cases; he asserts that, in the public sector, where “reasonableness” is the relevant standard, the subcontracted work should be …

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The author describes the adverse impact that subcontracting and outsourcing have on the lives of American workers, and the hidden or underestimated risks and costs they can entail for the employer. The author recommends that, when a CBA is silent on subcontracting and the employer asks the arbitrator to apply a “rule of reason,” the …

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A description of the forms that privatization and contracting out have taken in Canada; why neither is not in the best interests of the general public as citizens and taxpayers; and how privatization is being fought, through the labor relations system, in Canada. The author challenges the arguments offered for privatization: that government is too …

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The author charges that Canadian public sector unions have rarely considered the public interest at their demands at the negotiating table and that, during the 1970s, an almost unlimited right to strike resulted in high labor costs and built-in inefficiencies. This was superceded by legislation prohibiting strikes or lockouts during the term of a CBA, …

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Revisiting an old battle ground: The subcontracting dispute

A discussion of arbitration decisions concerning limitations on subcontracting. Topics discussed include arbitrability decisions by courts, the duty to bargain over subcontracting, NLRB deferral in subcontracting cases, and the development of arbitration standards in subcontracting disputes. The article includes a table, showing the increasing prevalence of limitations upon subcontracting found in collective bargaining agreements, and …

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