Public-Sector Employment Issues

Topic Leader: 
Jeffrey Keefe

Every day it becomes more apparent that state-level public-sector labor and employment policy are on the table for debate all around the country. Public- employee wages, pension and health care benefits, education reform, collective bargaining rights, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution are currently some of the most hotly contested topics. Yet, to date debate has too often taken the form of vitriolic and often evidence-free attacks on public-sector workers and their employers. Therefore, EPRN has decided to create a special topic area devoted to these issues. In contrast to current policy discourse, this site is devoted to evidence-based analysis of public-sector employment, earnings and law to help inform debate, discussion and deliberation to fashion sound public policy. We will provide data and evidence comparing public- and private-sector employee compensation and on the effects of collective bargaining and different modes of dispute resolution on employment outcomes. We encourage researchers to post work relevant to these debates, and we encourage state and local government officials and all stakeholders who share an interest in these issues to pose questions to our EPRN researchers. Examples of ways in which these issues are being addressed in different states will be especially welcome.


Ellen Dannin's picture

Rumors that the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority's bus costs are out of control have reached a fever pitch lately, thanks to...

Ellen Dannin | April 24, 2014
Ellen Dannin's picture

The privatization of public services isn't a new trend. In the period in which the Clinton-Gore administration was...

Ellen Dannin | March 29, 2014
Ellen Dannin's picture

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's administration has decided to sign...

Ellen Dannin | February 17, 2014
Ellen Dannin's picture

It is now mostly forgotten that President Clinton and Vice President Gore...

Ellen Dannin | January 3, 2014
Daniel J.B. Mitchell's picture

Draft chapter for California Policy Options 2014.  Traces history of the California state budget through the end of August...

Carrie R. Leana's picture

"In Waiting for Superman, the 2010 documentary that describes the failure of American...

Carrie R. Leana | October 8, 2012
Daniel J.B. Mitchell's picture

Draft chapter for California Policy Options 2013.  Discusses the evolution of the 2012-13 California state budget, its relation to...

Daniel J.B. Mitchell | September 3, 2012
Jeffrey Keefe's picture

The 1971 book, The Unions and the Cities (Brookings Institution) by Harry H. Wellington and Ralph K. Winter addressed initial...

Jeffrey Keefe | June 4, 2012
Jeffrey Keefe's picture

Public sector unionism and collective bargaining are being widely debated in U.S. state and local governments, some of which have...

Jeffrey Keefe | April 3, 2012