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It amazes me that this 'law' has not been successfully contested in court. It severely reduces the inherent power of a public service union, especially in a place like NYC. At the risk of being seen as a POV-biased editor here at Wikipedia, I still wish to say- keep up the good work, fellow union folk. → P.MacUidhir (t) (c) 11:41, 25 December 2005 (UTC)
- It cuts both ways. People in municipal government in this state dislike the way it mandates certain benefit levels for unionized public employees, something they feel should be open to negotiation. Daniel Case 02:14, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
- If they are "severely" limited in power, then why do they have the power that they do? Why does this article not talk about the powers that the taylor law GIVES public sector unions? (I know, I can do it myself, but I'm not as skilled as this as other wikipedians). A volunteer group CANNOT step in and do work that normally is being done by unions, even if it needs it. They can't legally clean up parts, or maintain snowmobile trails for example. Even when the city is not doing it themselves. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 10:50, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The article is mostly balanced with the exception of the last section: Criticism and Reform.
I take specific issue with this section and it's sources:
"While raw salary increases are generally negotiated on a year by year basis (and are thus frozen at the expiration of a contract), "step increases" (which are based on an individual worker's longevity and are additional raises above and beyond general salary raises) are still required in most state contracts, and must be given even when a contract expires if the previous contract stipulated such. Thus, raises can theoretically continue in perpetuity."
The second source cited is an opinion article by the Buffalo News, though it is not labelled as such. The first source cited is a dead link, and also most likely an opinion article. This information as quoted is the consensus opinion of conservatives, and neglects the reality of step increases when it discusses them. They do not go on "in perpetuity" as claimed, and step increases are not cost of living raises. For example, a look at contracts for state employees in the Civil Service Employees Associations or Public Employees Federation reflect that step increases will continue for 7 years from an employees hiring provided they receive a satisfactory performance review to move to the next step each year. Step raises amount to the same concept as raises in a trade union - they advance a new worker to the "journeyman" compensation level from a starting compensation level, and end when the employee reaches the "journeyman" level, or job rate as it is described in the government employee unions contracts. In many cases, the number of years it takes to move in salary steps from the hiring rate to the job rate has increased exponentially from 1 or 2 years to the current 7 years due to previous concessions made by public employees in past contracts, hence why it takes longer to get to the job rate in "steps" than it generally takes for someone to get to a journeyman rate in a trade union.
Finally, "longevity" pay does not amount to an annual increase in salary as it is implied in the above statement. It is a bonus paid to employees who have achieved a certain amount of longevity at the job rate for their position. Again, per the PEF and CSEA contracts, an employee would receive an annual longevity bonus after 5 years of service at the job rate of their position, and would receive a larger longevity bonus after 10 years of service at the job rate of their position.
In addition, to address the comments of the second anonymous poster above, they are mostly inaccurate conservative talking points. The Taylor Law outlaws strikes. This significantly limits the bargaining power of unions. The "No Strikes" clause in the Taylor law was found to be an unfair labor practice by the state Public Employees Relations Board in the 1970's (unfortunately the case is so old it the decision is no longer on their site and most people do not have access to Westlaw to review the decision), and the result of that decision was the Triborough amendment, which had the objective of balancing the needs of the people that depended on government workers to be on the job, hence the no strikes clause, and the needs of the unions to not have their pay or benefits unilaterally reduced when a contract expired with no way to fight such a unilateral change. This results in balance of power between the employer and the employee in terms of compensation. There is nothing in any union contract or Taylor that prevents the state from using volunteers or anyone else for that matter for performing a function. That assertion by the anonymous poster is pure conjecture. Had it been the case, New York state would not rely on consultants temporary employees to bolster the ranks of the state workforce as much as it does.