Photo Credit: The Daily Signal

Heritage economist James Sherk testified before front of the Nevada Assembly earlier this month on making collective bargaining optional for all government employees. In his testimony, Sherk argues that unions for government employees are bad policy, because unlike private sector unions they:

  1. Undermine representative government: “Collective bargaining in government takes away the final say on public policy from voters’ elected representatives. It forces them to negotiate a contract with union leaders, excluding all other citizens and potential workers from the bargaining table.”
  2. Come with no checks and balances: Private sector unions have competition with non-unionized businesses, but government employee unions do not: “Residents of Reno, Nevada, cannot receive police protection from Carson City or educate their children in Clark County Public Schools. Moreover mandatory taxes fund government operations.”
  3. Inflate pay for their workers: “Collective bargaining has considerably inflated the compensation of Nevada’s local government employees. It has produced benefit packages that few private-sector workers ever see. In many local governments, employees pay nothing toward the cost of their extensive health insurance benefits.”

Follow this link to see the rest of Sherk’s testimony.

Do you think Nevada should make unions optional for its government employees?

Comments (46)

joy ward - April 24, 2015

Do you think Nevada should make unions optional for its government employees? I think the “mafia” unions should be eradicated, dismissed, done away with, become illegal….anything that will forever rid us of them and their tactics.!

Charles Timmerman - April 24, 2015

Public Unions should be abolished. Public employees and elected positions should be required to be over viewed by a panel of their peers not a Union.

Maggie Pepper - April 26, 2015

there should be no government employees covered by unions.

norbert fay - April 27, 2015

One would think that Wisconsin’s example would show the improvements made by “Right to Work” legislation.

David Creel - April 27, 2015

Next to Obama, unions are the worst thing to happen to a free enterprise society. They have long outlived their useful purpose. Public sector unions should be abolished. Unions are havens for incompetence.

John Olofson - April 27, 2015


arnie uhlig - April 27, 2015

it is conflict where gov’t unions spend millions electing people who donot act for all the people

Tom Futcher - April 27, 2015

These employees work for us,the taxpayers, not the unions. Gov

Charles Lingo - April 27, 2015

NO! There should be no official Nevada (or any other state) union.

Judy Brown - April 27, 2015

No, unions only cause problems and the unproductive employees can never be terminated. The teacher’s union is a good example, many teachers should have been fired years ago but because of the unions, they

Roderick Wells - April 27, 2015

In no way should unions be allowed for any public service employees. If their paid with taxpayer

Ruth - April 27, 2015

Your site won’t let me correct typos or spelling.

Ralph James - April 27, 2015

Unions Shouls not be available for individuals elected to the Federal or the 50 State Governments

Ralph James - April 27, 2015

Unions should not be available to individuals elected to Federal or State Governments. And, unions should not be available for employees of Federal or State Governments

stephen palmer - April 27, 2015

It is with hour afte hour

NEWTON BORGERSON JR - April 27, 2015

Government employees bargaining with government employees

NEWTON BORGERSON JR - April 27, 2015

Gov’t employees on one side of the table bargaining with government employees on the other side never has worked and never will work. The level of motivation is very uneven, thus resulting in lopsided results.

Ron Cadorett - April 27, 2015

all government unions

Franco - April 27, 2015

These critics do not have a clue. Government employees more than any other need Union representation. There is a constant change in management who appoint clueless campaign donors to administration positions

Nelson Piercey - April 27, 2015

I oppose public sector unions for the reasons your writer discussed in the article.

Harlan McNew - April 27, 2015

There iws no place for

Donovan Allen - April 27, 2015

Unions should never be allowed to operate in the public sector, ever.
They negotiate with polotitions

Eugene McAuliffe - April 28, 2015

Government unions have no completion.They bargain for themselves

Marie Kennedy - April 28, 2015

Why is the U. S. A. the fifth most corrupt

[email protected] - April 28, 2015

We now have so many public employees that they are in a position to determine the outcome of elections. They are in fact electing the very official that are paying their salaries. that is the definition of corruption..

Jjoan Egenes - April 28, 2015

Labor Unions had a purpose during the last century; however, they do not have the same role now. Forcing employees to belong to a Labor Union should be abolished in all states. I never knew of a Labor Union that protected school employees or city employees. We have lost valuable companies to other countries due to labor unions in the USA.

Kim Hagge - April 28, 2015

No! Government employees should not be allowed to be unoonized

[email protected] - April 28, 2015

Yes! I think all states should make union membership optional for government employees.

[email protected] - April 28, 2015

Definitively YES! And ALL states should follw suit.

James Williams - April 28, 2015

UNIONS are not needed PERIOD. A free society will provide properly for ALL,
privately as well as government.

Harry Garrison - April 28, 2015

Yes And I think no federal government employees should be covered by unions either. Unionization of

Harry Garrison - April 28, 2015

government employees destroys the

Louise Campbell - April 28, 2015

We should begin with Nevada but we must not stop there. ALL states should make unions optional for it governmet employees.

Jerry Metcalf - April 28, 2015


DjjWinter - April 28, 2015

Public Unions should not be allowed. They have created the current inequities such as public pensions out of proportion with what is available in the private sector. When it comes to taxpayer funded pensions, there should be the same for all citizens…

Abbie Walker - April 28, 2015

No employees, at any level of government, should be unionized. Theyare generally slackers and cannot be fired.

Henry Balconi - April 28, 2015

Unions shouldnever be permitted

George - April 28, 2015

Public Unions are an absurdity. Unions are a powerful political force. To think that bargaining between politicians and unionized employees can be fair and reasonable is ridiculous.

Henry C. Holder - April 28, 2015

Public sector unions should be eliminated, public and Federal.

Thomas Dean - April 28, 2015

There never should be unionization of public employees, it automatically creates a conflict of interest betgween the elected supervisors of union employees and the unions

Donald Harris - April 28, 2015

Public Unions should be outlawed, period.
The elected officials should make sure that the workers are paid a fair salary for their work. If they fail the public should fire them with the next ballot.

Marvin Trepp - April 29, 2015

President Franklin Roosevelt was against public sector unions. He thought it was a bad idea.

John Dienes - April 29, 2015

With Wisconsin we now have 25 “Right-to-Work” states. Right-to-Work should be the law of the land regardless of public or private sector. Forced unionism is nothing more than slavery, pure and simple. Having to pay union dues as a condition of employment, or to obtain employment, is criminal.

Sylvia Berggren - April 30, 2015

I think public unions should for teachers & government

Sylvia Berggren - April 30, 2015

I think government unions & public unions should be abolished. The average person has to set up there own retirenment, health care & save for there retirenment. So should public & government employees.

Val Preslar - May 4, 2015

I agree that all unions have outlived their useful purpose that they were established for. They create a class of entitled people that

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