Every day it becomes more apparent that state-level public-sector labor and employment policy are on the table for debate all around the country. Public- employee wages, pension and health care benefits, education reform, collective bargaining rights, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution are currently some of the most hotly contested topics.
Yet, to date debate has too often taken the form of vitriolic and often evidence-free attacks on public-sector workers and their employers. Therefore, EPRN has decided to create a special topic area devoted to these issues. In contrast to current policy discourse, this site is devoted to evidence-based analysis of public-sector employment, earnings and law to help inform debate, discussion and deliberation to fashion sound public policy. We will provide data and evidence comparing public- and private-sector employee compensation and on the effects of collective bargaining and different modes of dispute resolution on employment outcomes.
We encourage researchers to post work relevant to these debates, and we encourage state and local government officials and all stakeholders who share an interest in these issues to pose questions to our EPRN researchers. Examples of ways in which these issues are being addressed in different states will be especially welcome.