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This article discusses the arguments against adopting collective bargaining in the public sector and its benefits. Collective bargaining in the public sector is viewed primarily as undermining democratic governance in one way and paradoxically it is seen as an essential part of democratic governance. In the former view, collective bargaining in the public sector is seen as an interference with administrative law for personal benefit to the detriment of the taxpayer. Proponents of this view argue that unionising public sector employees encourages disloyalty to the government at the expense of public welfare. In the later view, public sector collective bargaining is viewed as a fundamental human right in a pluralistic society. Advocates of this view posit that, public sector unions provide a collective voice that stimulates improvement of government services as well as sound administration of law. They also argue that, public sector collective bargaining represents public policy interests and serves as a watchdog to government’s monopoly power in employment matters. Public sector unions raise employee salaries and perks to levels higher than they would have been in the absence of collective bargaining. These two opposite views are subjected to a critical analysis in this paper, with empirical evidence for both the benefits of public sector collective bargaining and arguments against public sector unions. The article found that public sector collective bargaining depends on the socio-economic background of states although international laws favour public sector unionism.

Keywords: Public Sector, Collective Bargaining, Unions, Private Sector, Strike

How to cite this paper: Chigudu, D. (2015). Collective bargaining: An analysis of hurdles and applicability in the public sector. Journal of Governance and Regulation, 4(1-2), 168-174.