Constraints on public sector bargaining in Canada

Source: Joseph B Rose, Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 58 no. 1, February 2016
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From the abstract:
This article examines public sector bargaining in Canada during the consolidation period (1998–2013). The period was associated with economic turbulence (sustained economic growth followed by the global economic crisis), support for neoliberal policies across the entire political spectrum (the adoption of free market policies and austerity budgets) and extensive litigation challenging the constitutionality of legislation restricting collective bargaining rights. To assess the impact of these environmental pressures on relative bargaining power, the study examined selected collective bargaining indicators – union membership, wage settlements and strike activity. Our results indicate that the relative bargaining power of public sector unions was eroded during this period. The article concludes that a period of highly constrained public sector collective bargaining will continue in the future.