I was reading a Buckeye Institute paper advocating “right to work” laws in Ohio and came up with this question. Does a government preference to contract for services at the prevailing union wages necessarily make the government pay more for government services than they would in a “right to work” state? If you believe that the market rates in “right to work” states is the correct price for these services, then a government that pays too much for these services is redistributing the wealth to a select group of people.
I would not be surprised that the employees do not share this sentiment. Although they might agree that there may have been abuses in the past, I think they would quickly point out the good and bad points about their wages and benefit plans. Although wages are an obvious issue to the casual observer, both employees and management are primarily concerned with workplace and seniority rules as it relates to staffing. This has caused an embarrassing staffing mess in several cities and counties. It is ironic that the primary reason for a state like Ohio to embrace “right to work” statutes is because collective bargaining does not appear to allow any room for improvements on these issues. So the solution is to throw out collective bargaining. Hmm I wonder how this is going to work.