Monday, September 28, 2009

Herbert on NY's Card Check Law


Bill Herbert (NY PERB, writing independently) has just posted on SSRN his article, "The Development and Administration of Non-Electoral Labor Certifications in New York." The abstract:

During the debate over proposals in the Employee Free Choice Act to modify United States federal labor policy to reestablish an administrative procedure for the certification of unions without an election, it has been notable that New York’s 50 year history and experience in the use of non-electoral certification procedures have been ignored. This article seeks to fill a void in the literature by examining New York's development and administration of non-electoral labor certifications. It seeks to demonstrate how experiences under state labor and employment law can provide important and relevant information to be considered when discussing changes to federal labor law. The article begins with an overview of New York public sector labor relations history prior to the establishment of collective bargaining rights. As part of that historical overview, it examines the development of informal employee organization representation, the codification of a prohibition against public sector strikes and the establishment of formal grievance procedures by public employers which were the precursors of de jure representational rights and collective negotiations. It then describes the largely untold story behind the development of New York City's collective bargaining system for municipal employees in which included a non-electoral certification procedure similar to that which existed under the Wagner Act. It then turns to the subsequent development and administration of certification without election procedures under New York's Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, the New York City Collective Bargaining Law and New York Labor Law.
I've both read an earlier version of this article and seen Bill present it, and it's well worth the read.  In fact, it's a must-read for anyone who wants to engage in a debate about card-check representation.  The EFCA debate has largely ignored the fact that we've got a half-century of experience with card check in the U.S. and Bill's article is an important addition to that debate.


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