Posts tagged Albany
State senators to get a harsh reality check as their own workers unionize
August 11, 2022 // Labor leaders were giddy when a group of state Senate employees last month announced their intent to unionize. But if the group achieves its objective — to subject senators to the sweeping union rules Albany imposes on local governments and schools — the result may be more than what labor bargained for. About 80 of the Senate’s roughly 1,000 employees have formed the New York State Legislative Workers United. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the group demanded the same bargaining privileges New York’s Taylor Law grants state and municipal employees and teachers.
Unions have enough power in Albany; legislative staff shouldn’t unionize
August 5, 2022 // But a legislative staffers union isn’t the answer to problems in Albany, and the simple reason is politics. Public-sector union officials who collectively bargain with the government are negotiating with the very people they help elect. Now add another layer to that – union officials negotiating with the people they help elect who then vote on the laws for the rest of the state. Imagine I’m a newly elected state senator. I won a hard-fought and ugly election against the incumbent, and now I’m reporting to Albany to set up my office and learn the ropes. Without unions, elected officials are free to choose their staff, and these staffers are at-will employees – meaning that if elected officials don’t feel their staff are trustworthy, or are doing a good job, they can terminate them. Upon arriving in Albany, I meet my new staff and am surprised to learn that because the collective bargaining agreement says so, my new staff is my former opponent’s old staff. The very staff that worked hard to ensure I wasn’t elected. Can I trust them? I now have no choice.