Democratic System: State And Governemnt Essay

1459 words - 6 pages

In a democratic system, a bill goes through two distinct branches, the executive and the legislative branch. The bill becomes a policy only when it passes the legislative branch and executive branch. The legislative or executive branches do not have the ability to implement the policy or law; it is the responsibility of the bureaucracy to implement that policy. It is public employees who work in the bureaucracy. Almost thirty three percent of state and local employees belong to unions. The primary responsibility of the union is to protect its member’s job and benefits. Over years unions have been able to increase their strength, while during the same time the state government has been trying hard to reduce union powers, especially during tough economic times. The focus of this essay is to describe the conflict between state government and public employee unions, by giving examples of current clashes between state and unions, how state is trying to curb union power. The main focus of the essay will be on the ongoing negotiations between unions and the state of New York.
The conflict between public employee union and the state government can be summarized in one sentence. The unions would like to increase upon, or at least maintain the same level of wages and benefits, and the state government tries to reduce them. Government argues that they need to balance their budget. In 2010, most of the large states were facing a budget deficit. When the state government facing economic downturns, they only have two choices to balance their budget. First is to raise taxes, which no politician would like to introduce. The second way is to reduce government spending, which politician tends to favour. States like Alabama, Ohio and Arizona, are trying to limit the power of the unions. It is especially the bargaining power which the state government tries to curb. The bargaining power is when public employees organize and collectively bargain with the government. The collective bargaining gives union’s greater influence over the state government. The main reason for that it is not just an individual who is fighting for his/her right, rather it is the union which is negotiating on behalf of the workers.
The most popular belief about public employees is that, during economic downturns, public employees manage to keep their jobs and benefits while other employees lose their jobs. During the economic crisis, the main responsibility of the state government is to balance their budget, states cannot operate in deficit. The states are trying to find ways to curb salaries and pensions of public employees, which makes up for a significant portion of the state budget. The state government attempts to freeze the salaries of the public employees for the upcoming years and unions oppose that. If the settlement is not reached during negotiations, union’s last resort is to go on strike. Some of the states have taken the initiative to ban union strikes. The ban on...

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