The Case Against Public Sector Unions

By now you are all familiar with my beating on my little unions-are-bad-for-government drum… ya may even be tired of it by now. Still, I’d like to pass on the work of friend to the blog David Denholm who has also addressed this point in the past.

On the Public Service Research Foundation website can be found Denholm’s excellent article titled, “The Case Against Public Sector Unionism and Collective Bargaining.” In it you’ll find some great points and a thorough discussion on the evils that is a unionized government workforce.

One of the best insights that Denholm has is that a unionized government workforce eliminates the democratic right of the voters to affect their government. (download pdf copy)

By making the union a full and equal partner at the bargaining table, compulsory public-sector bargaining laws deprive the public of its right to participate in policy making. This point was emphasized in a U.S. District Court opinion which upheld the constitutionality of a North Carolina law declaring public-sector union contracts to be void. The Court said:

Moreover, to the extent that public employees gain power through recognition and collective bargaining, other interest groups with a right to a voice in the running of the government may be left out of vital political decisions. Thus the granting of collective bargaining rights to public employees involves important matters fundamental to our democratic form of government. The setting of goals and making policy decisions are rights inuring to each citizen. All citizens have the right to associate in groups to advocate their special interests to the government. It is something entirely different to grant any one interest group special status and access to the decision-making process.

This reflects my own points made so very often right here on the blog. The incestuous relationship between union — that becomes a patron of politicians — and politicians — that return that patronage — wholly cuts out the voter’s ability to direct government to their desires and needs.

Anyway, Denholm makes some great points and his piece is well worth the read.

(Cross posted at

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!