Governing New York State: The Rockefeller Years

By Robert H. Connery; Gerald Benjamin | Go to book overview

Public Employee Labor Relations
Under the Taylor Law

RAYMOND D. HORTON

Enactment in 1967 of the Public Employees' Fair Employment Act, or the Taylor Law, created a formal labor relations system in New York State built around the principles of employee organization and representation, collective bargaining, and neutral administration. The purpose of this study is to describe and evaluate New York's experience with this law over the past six years. What important changes in the relations between public employees and state and local government have occurred as a result of the Taylor Law? What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the state's program? Finally, how well has the Taylor Law served public employees, governmental units, and the New York public?

No formal labor relations program existed for state and local employees prior to 1967 except in New York City. In earlier years, however, an informal and intensely political system did exist. Public employees, like other political interest groups, were forced to seek their goals by employing political tactics, including lobbying, lawsuits, and political alliances with elected politicians.

The parameters of public employee labor relations before the passage of the Taylor Law were defined largely by the politics of the state's civil service system and, to a lesser extent, by the common law (later statutory) ban on public employee strikes. The civil service or merit system was introduced by state legislation in 1883. In 1894 the merit principle was incorporated in the state constitution. Vesting the civil service system with a cloak of state statutory and constitutional authority proved important, because it helped direct the attention of civil servants and civil service reformers toward Albany, the

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Governing New York State: The Rockefeller Years
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Governing New York State: the Rockefeller Years *
  • Contents *
  • Contributors *
  • Preface *
  • Nelson A. Rockefeller as Governor *
  • The Governorship in History *
  • Patterns in New York State Politics *
  • Modernization of the Legislature *
  • The Administration of Justice and Court Reform *
  • The Changing Role of the States in the Federal System *
  • The State and the Federal Government *
  • State Aid to Local Government *
  • The State and the City *
  • Financing the State *
  • Higher Education *
  • The State and Social Welfare *
  • Public Employee Labor Relations under the Taylor Law *
  • Health Care *
  • Housing *
  • Attica and Prison Reform *
  • Public Transportation *
  • Elementary and Secondary Education *
  • Narcotics Addiction: the Politics of Frustration *
  • Environmental Protection *
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