About Collective Bargaining

The Collective Bargaining Issue

The collective bargaining issue is between Michigan State Governments and its employees. It intends to curtail its employees' collective bargaining rights by revising civil service rules. The commission expanded its authority in order to eliminate certain articles in union contracts, particularly amid budget crises (Hinkley, 201). This would limit union leaders' capacity to negotiate policy on behalf of their employees in areas such as overtime, staff assignment, performance pay, and many others. Three of the commissioners voted in support of the measures while one voted against the reforms. The changes will be effected at the end of 2018 when the contract for the current members expires.

The Underlying Cause of Dispute

The underlying cause of dispute is the action taken by the commission to reduce the collective bargaining rights, which is the main uniting force for the labor movement. The union workers were not happy with the move and booed the commissioners revealing their dissatisfaction with the decision. The union and the state workers want the reforms quashed and allowed to enjoy their duties and power as before.

Pressure Applied by the Union and Commission

The two sides used different pressures to prevail in the dispute. The union has an option of electing a friendly governor who can appoint commissioners considered union-friendly. The unity of the workers is key to undoing of the reforms passed. A lawsuit to challenge the action of the commission is not possible since the constitution gives powers to the commission over the employees of the state. The commission used its powers to enact the law and have control of the union workers (Hinkley, 2017). The union cannot oppose the decision but can resolve to negotiation with the commission for better terms.

Unethical Conduct by Both Parties

There was unethical conduct of both the employees and the commission as each side tried to defend its position. The employees booed the commission officials, which was quite unethical and a show of disrespect. The commissioners also took advantage of the fact that the Republican nominees and appointees control the Michigan Supreme Court (Hinkley, 2017). This is unethical since the commissioners appointed by the Republican Government supported the move since they know the Supreme Court will support them. The employees cannot challenge the decision of the commission since the Constitution of Michigan has given it powers to control its workers.

No Resolution in Sight

The dispute was not resolved and the union only dreams of electing a friendly governor who can appoint governors that can listen to title needs. Removing the Republicans seems to be the best solution by union workers since other actions may not work in their favor.

Lack of Third Party Involvement

No third parties were involved in the matter concerning the collective bargaining by Michigan employees since the matter was not resolved. Although the workers and the union opposed the decision of the commissioners, the decision made was never reversed leaving the union with little bargaining power for their employees on the matters stated. Individual workers can use a separate process of raising a complaint if the issue is not covered by the union contract.

Possible Resolutions

The dispute could have been resolved in a more constructive way through dialogue between the union workers and the commissioners. One way is to use National Labor Relations Act, which covers many workers. For this dispute, the public sector bargaining laws should be used to help the two groups to make a consensus. Various approaches can be used to ensure that the parties agree on an action that benefits them. A more interest-focused approach is recommended such as sitting on a table and raising issues associated with the decision in dispute (Frandsen & Webb, 2016). For instance, the union officials can book an appointment with the commission and discuss the positions of each party and finding better solution for the problem. Only essential issues and challenges that workers may face such as exploitation at the work place and low pay should be of great focus. Taking actions such as demonstrating may not be successful since the commission has powers over the state employees. Engaging the two sides and addressing the issue can be the best for the workers to eliminate the possibility of victimization. It may be difficult to convince the commissioners to reverse the decision, but the union officials can negotiate and ask the commission to consider the plight of workers without the union protection. The idea is to create positive relationship and ensure that employers do not oppress people during work. Use of labor mediation experts can also help in resolving the dispute and ensure that the two sides understand one another and the importance of every decision made (Ilesanmi, 2017). Workers need representatives to negotiate with their employers on regulation of salaries, benefits, working conditions, as well as other compensation and rights aspects. However, the union officials must always be flexible but firm specially when presenting the issues facing the members to the commission. It should also ensure that it signs the collective bargaining agreement on bhalf of the workers and follow up on its implementation.


Frandsen, B. R., & Webb, M. (2016). Public Employee Pensions and Collective Bargaining Rights: Evidence from State and Local Government Finances.

Hinkley. J.A (2017). Michigan state worker collective bargaining reforms to spur more fights. http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/capitol/2017/09/25/michigan-state-worker-collective-bargaining-reforms-spur-more-fights/690342001/

Ilesanmi, A. (2017). Dynamics of Collective Bargaining in Resolving Conflict in Employment Relations. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 52(3).

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