While collective bargaining in any environment can be difficult, this is especially true in the public sector. Many of the forces that make the process workable in the private sector are absent in the public sector. For example, the private sector’s profit-driven management style may be replaced with a management approach that is more focused on serving the general public. This difference can significantly alter the priorities set by management in collective bargaining. Further, the private sector’s long-term budget forecasting models are replaced by a budgeting system that is often controlled by a third-party legislature, subject to the whim of voters. This creates unique challenges for an employer who needs to forecast future revenues and, in turn, bargain with employees.
The labor attorneys at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP have experience representing municipalities, school boards, universities and other local and state institutions in successfully managing the unique challenges and dynamics of a public sector bargaining relationship.