Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 255–274 | Cite as

The State of Public Sector Unionism: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Marick F. MastersEmail author
  • Robert R. Albright
  • Ray Gibney


The face of unionism in the United States is becoming increasingly public sector. On the surface, public sector unionism appears as a bright spot for labor. A more careful examination of the data, however, reveals that such unionism is at a standstill. Absolute growth has been insufficient to offset losses in private industry, and it is largely tied to increases in public employment. Public employee unions face numerous serious challenges, and questions have been raised in the federal service about the very legitimacy of union representation. Future scenarios suggest that public sector unionism as a whole will likely remain in a more or less stagnant position.

Key words

public sector unionism government employees United States 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marick F. Masters
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert R. Albright
    • 2
  • Ray Gibney
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.The Lally School of Management & TechnologyRensselear Polytechnic InstituteHartfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of ManagementPenn State University at HarrisburgMiddletownUSA

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