The Effects of Collective Bargaining Units Analysis Essay Example

The Effects of Collective Bargaining Units in the Development of Administrative Policy

The effects of collective bargaining units in the development of administrative policy are a sphere of my personal interest. For a long time, residents of the United States, particularly New York City, have become observers and even participants of the mass riots and strikes. They provoked disagreement between the officers’ union, people fighting for equality, and mayor. These events present a basis for the research work. The influence of trade unions on the administrative policy is unconditional. The only question is what the nature of this impact is. In fact, up to this time, careless actions have provoked high costs, inefficient losses on both sides, and the growth of crime among citizens. That is why the question of the influence of collective bargaining units on the policy is relevant and vital.

History of the Effects of Collective Bargaining Units in the Development of Administrative Policy

For the first time, the term ‘collective bargaining’ was used by economic theorist and founder of the industrial relations field Beatrice Webb in 1891 (Wilkinson, Donaghey, & Dundon, 2014). Negotiations are the method by which one can get a tangible or intangible benefit, the meaning of which is the confrontation between the two sides (Jensen, 1963).

From the earliest times, in the Scriptures people wanted to form unions and conduct collective negotiations. A striking example of this may be the story of the Jewish people liberation by Moses from the Egyptian oppression. This situation shows the power of unification and the ability to achieve the common goal with the help of a competent leader.

Presently, the issue of unification of people is governed by a variety of federal and state laws, and other regulations. The main ones are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which claims in Article 23 that “everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests,” and the National Labor Relations Act (1935), which states that an employer cannot refuse union workers.

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Since these times, almost nothing has changed. In 2000’s, there were attempts to ban the unification of trade unions in several states, but the decisions were non-durable, and referendum annulled them. Since US policy is aimed in full measure at democratization of all sectors, the right for unification of citizens and collective bargaining is carefully protected.

Problem Identification

The problem of this research is a thorough analysis of the influence of unions on the administrative policy of the region in order to avoid mass demonstrations and frequent violations by citizens. In order to provide valid proposals on how to cope with the situation, there is a need to explore not only the theoretical basis but also its practical implementation. It is also important to look at the situation objectively, regardless of personal beliefs, because there are two sides in conflict, each of them is the right to some extent. It is necessary to understand the motives and expectations of all parties in order to clarify ‘levers of pressure’ to solve the conflict situation. Otherwise, riots and the weakness of power will lead to the credibility of the mayor being undermined. Police will be less vigilant while patrolling the streets because of their personal insults. Such behavior may lead to new protests and the civil war in the worst predictions.

First, it is essential to understand the technology of union’s impact on the decision-making. Typically, there are three stages: the formation of the union, collective bargaining, and the influence of using the collective strength. Suppose there is a company in a highly competitive industry; first of all, workers would form a union. Then, a problematic issue arises; for example, when wage increases above the average level, a collective bargaining takes place on this subject. If negotiations are vain, the union uses its power: it organizes a strike (Weldon, 1953).

For example, teachers’ union reached an increase in wages for themselves. Union demands are well founded. The work involves presence of liability and employees performing their duties in good faith. So, raising the level of salaries for teachers is a mandatory measure to motivate employees in the future.
Let us start with the first stage. The number of union participants predicts its future activities. Trends are variable. On the one hand, small independent unions are becoming more popular. As claimed by John O’Grady (1994), “unions, particularly those in the public sector, are increasingly forced to organize in smaller units as saturation points are reached in such sectors as education, health care, and local government.” However, some of these unions seek to join the national union, thereby forming a tendency to grand unification (Hebdon, Hyatt, & Mazerolle, 1999).

There is a clear relationship between the number of participants and union strikes: the more people in the bond, the greater the chance that they will organize a strike. Robert Hebdon, Douglas Hyatt, and Maurice Mazerolle (1999) wrote that “sympathy strikes and political strikes are undoubtedly less likely in independent unions” (p. 507). Small companies’ hierarchy has few steps, and managers inform workers about the decision-making. So, workers are more likely to operate in a team rather than engage in strikes (Hebdon et al., 1999). In large companies, hierarchization is increasing and management becomes multi-level. As a consequence, it is not always understandable for ordinary workers. Strikes occur when understanding between management and employees is broken (Hebdon et al., 1999).

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Collective bargaining is the second stage of the union’s action. It allows to reach an agreement between employers and employees on a wide range of topics. Initially, all the theories of collective bargaining were based on economic reasons. Of course, the first desire of workers is to have appropriate wages. They also studied the effect of collective bargaining on society as it was a frequent source of demonstrations (Weldon, 1953). Moreover, there is one disadvantage in Webb’ theory: she did not consider the collective bargaining from the standpoint of power of relationships. As a rule, researchers take into account one or two factors, such as economic and political reasons. This approach is wrong because any change in physiological, political, and legal environment modifies the view of citizens on this issue. Therefore, theories of collective bargaining should consider all facets of the phenomenon (Syed, 1970).

Anyway, in order for the collective bargaining process to become available, it is necessary to regard such conditions as the economic viability of the region and democratic society within the appropriate legal framework (Syed, 1970). Everyone knows that strikes and demonstrations take place in countries with well-developed economic sector, because there is a large labor market and workers in such circumstances can dictate their terms. In the countries where the economy is not developed, the citizens cherish their work, and they are willing to work even for a meager salary with hope just to feed themselves and their families. As a rule, in such countries, democracy is not developed.

As already mentioned, collective bargaining has a different outcome: it can be agreed on in good faith or in the event of a conflict thus provoking strikes and mass demonstrations. Hameed Syed (1970) argues that “actual settlement or the resolution of interpersonality conflict takes place at the point where both sides reach a consonance in their respective conflict equilibria” (p. 544). It means that the facts of confrontation should be examined in order to understand the expectations of both sides and a way to meet their needs. If two parties cannot come to terms, they involve an independent third party that takes an objective decision and acts as an intermediary between the two (Syed, 1970).
The mechanism of influence of unions is the same as in the vast majority of one individual firm and in the whole country.

In order to demonstrate the full effect on administrative policies, there are two real examples: one of them is historical, the other two are modern.
So, on March 2, 2011, the Ohio Senate passed a law that limited the rights of unions for collective bargaining and strikes (Ariosto, 2011). Therefore, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other civil servants were deprived of the opportunity to demand better wages and health insurance. Also, workers were limited in terms of the vacation duration and a need for legislation due to the fact that such actions would slow the growth of taxes, because civil servants lived on money of taxpayers and ‘abuse of their rights’. However, the opponents of the decision made the referendum which repealed the law in November 2011. Nevertheless, even for a short time, officials managed to limit the rights described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Surprisingly, this example was followed by several states such as Wisconsin and Indiana (Ariosto, 2011).

The second incident began in 2014; its essence is the confrontation between the police union and the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio. It all started with the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island when the white cop applied banned rear naked choke to Akai Gurley, the African American who resisted the arrest (Susman, 2015). Indignation of the masses in regard to racial discrimination was growing as the number of demonstrators. Everything exacerbated when de Blasio publicly supported the demonstrators and said that he was surprised that police officers did not arrest his black son. These events provoked growing dissatisfaction among people; as a result, the conflict reached its extreme point before the murder of two police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. They were killed by Ismail Brinsley, the African American who was converted to Islam (Lowery & Kindy, 2015). Then, the president of the police union, Patrick Lynch, said that the mayor of New York had “blood on his hands.” The conflict continued when police officers turned their backs to the mayor during the proclamation of his speech at the funeral of the deceased (Lowery & Kindy, 2015). Order in the city has been violated; constant demonstrations and violations keep occurring; the conflict has further divided the city into ethnic groups. However, the parties are not in a hurry to reconcile. Liberals believe that the conflict is related to money matters, and all the discontent is an attempt of police union to achieve the best conditions for the collective agreement. Therefore, the officials do not make concessions, although previously the mayor made generous contracts with teachers’ unions and municipal employees (Fermino & Otis, 2014). Recently, the confrontation between police union and the mayor has gone to a new level. Now, police officers do not criticize publicly the activities of the mayor and perform their duties, and the mayor is trying to find a solution to the conflict using a system of carrot and stick.

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A third example is the situation in St. Louis in January 2015. There was a meeting on the issue of the new Terry Kennedy’ bill about how to install the Citizens Council to oversee the police of the city, which would have the authority to investigate allegations of police misconduct (Bamforth, 2015). This is done in order to mitigate a growing discontent between the police and citizens in connection with protests in Ferguson due to the fact that a white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed an 18-year-old African American Michael Brown and was not convicted for it. The discussion lasted about an hour, but after the police opposed the creation of the Council, riots broke out. The situation was aggravated by the behavior of business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, Jeff Roorda, who brought to the meeting a striking bracelet with the words “I Am Darren Wilson.” As a result of the unrest, meeting was closed, and the bill was not passed (Bamforth, 2015)

Administrative Application

I suggest three options to influence the situation.

It is believed that the main problem lies in the content of laws and irresponsible policy in regard to them. In fact, the police officers perform everything in accordance with their official duties, and negligence of politicians in drawing up the legislative framework leads to delinquency. This opinion is shared by Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former NYPD officer.

There is an assertion that small independent unions are less prone to strike (Hebdon et al., 1999). Moreover, if the government does not find other way, it should amend the laws governing the number of people in the unions. Therefore, the rights of people to participate and join the union will not be infringed, but their number will be adjusted. Consequently, the union would have a local character that would irrevocably affect the problem of frequent strikes and demonstrations.

Finally, engaging of a third party as a mediator between the parties will help them reconcile, install all the facts, and issue a verdict as soon as possible. Some citizens offer Rudy Giuliani as the third party (Hebdon et al., 1999).

Biblical Perspective

There are many theories regarding workers’ unions and collective bargaining, but the most ancient source of this knowledge is considered to be the Bible.
First of all, the Bible says that the workers must carefully perform their duties to the employer: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ” (Ephesians 6:5) as well as “with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men” (Ephesians 6:7). Consequently, workers should not think about improving comfort but put a high value on the duty. They should see the work as the service of God through the conscientious performance of their duties. However, it is necessary to obtain a reward: “And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house” (Luk 10:7).
The Bible is a holy book, but its meaning is hidden; so, it is gradually opening to mankind. However, it can be argued that the Scriptures do not support large associations, including trade unions: “Woe unto there that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!” (Isa. 5:8). The fact that unions usually try to dictate their terms to the employer is considered wrong from the standpoint of the Bible.

For employers, the Bible keeps other advice: do not skimp on pay for honest work. In James, the author warns wealthy Christians: “Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty” (5:4).

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Commentary

Being an observer in this situation, the best solution is to regard all the mistakes and victories of each party.

People should realize that police officers are servants of the public. This service was created with the thought for the welfare of citizens and their safety. First of all, officers are people who do their duty. Citizens can protest at any sort of topic, but the expression of their emotions should be peaceful; if it is so, the police will even help. However, when people move these legal boundaries in favor of false quest for freedom, the officers have to stop these attempts. Demonstrators should understand that their power is not only in unity but also in sober mind. Instead of showing their dissatisfaction against all adopted decisions, they should consider proposals on how to cope with the problem.

All civic indignation boils down to the question of racial discrimination. Indeed, it is a problem of our society, and the US is doing its best to resolve the issue. Politicians create a regulatory framework that regulates the mechanisms of relationships among people in all spheres regardless of race. The police does the will of the law. Moreover, change takes time; nothing can be changed in a moment. In addition, it is necessary to take into account another factor, the consciousness of the people. In fact, there is one law for all citizens, and the people who disobey it should be punished regardless of their nationality. All violators must be punished equally. If statistics shows more detentions among African Americans, for example, it only testifies that some people of this ethnic group have a propensity to violate law and order. Policemen may make a mistake when forming biases, and this error should be corrected.

One can understand the mayor as well as the police. In fact, he is only one man who bears responsibility for the behavior of all citizens in the city. Moreover, the solutions to the problems are difficult to implement due to pressure from protesters and police union People should realize that there are plenty of areas in the life of the city which require immediate attention and solutions. Naturally, the decision should be made quickly and decisively without relying on the fact that the problem may get resolved on its own, and de Blasio seems to exclude such an option.

Therefore, collective bargaining is a means of alliance to achieve better working conditions for the employees. Sometimes, the process develops into loud strikes and demonstrations under the influence of external circumstances, and then, the politics direct all strength to solve the problem. Occasionally, civil disturbance provokes frequent offenses, crimes, and even bloodshed. As we know, a large crowd becomes uncontrollable. For this reason, this area needs to be carefully studied to avoid similar incidents in the future.