Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1982071
 
 

Footnotes (99)



 


 



The Constitutional Dimension of Unilateral Change in Public Sector Collective Bargaining


Stephen F. Befort


University of Minnesota Law School

January 9, 2012

ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol. 27, 2012
Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-04

Abstract:     
During cycles of public sector budgetary crises, governmental entities frequently undertake efforts to reduce workforce costs. Sometimes these efforts have gone beyond layoffs and furloughs to include modifications to the terms of existing collective bargaining agreements. In the private sector, such a unilateral alteration would be an unlawful breach of contract and an unfair labor practice. But, unilateral change is more prevalent in the public sector, particularly due to the constitutional structure of state government. This article examines two of these constitutional dimensions. The article first discusses diffused management authority resulting from the separation of powers with particular reference to legislative authority over appropriations. The article then goes on to explore the legality of governmental lawmaking that modifies previously negotiated labor agreements. In both instances, a state legislature that is not defined as an “employer” under the pertinent state labor-management statute may have authority to undo a contract negotiated by the jurisdiction’s executive branch. The article concludes with suggestions for limiting the potential for such mid-term unilateral modifications and for providing the same level of certainty to collective agreements as is afforded to other governmental contracts.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: public employees, unilateral change, impairment of contract

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: January 9, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Befort, Stephen F., The Constitutional Dimension of Unilateral Change in Public Sector Collective Bargaining (January 9, 2012). ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol. 27, 2012; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-04. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1982071

Contact Information

Stephen F. Befort (Contact Author)
University of Minnesota Law School ( email )
229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
(612) 625-7342 (Phone)
(612) 625-2011 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 669
Downloads: 107
Download Rank: 152,454
Footnotes:  99

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 1.531 seconds