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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1971. Department of Business.


Copyright 1971, the author. Used by permission.


Public employees across the nation are forming and joining organizations. At the same time the traditional professional employee associations have adopted positions which closely resemble that of the typical labor organization.Public employees are striking and demanding equal pay and status with their private sector counterparts.With this in mind, it seems obvious to the author that the federal and state governments must meet this challenge positively.This paper’s primary concern is with how well the state of Nebraska has met the challenge.It is the thesis of this paper that although Nebraska has made some positive moves in the direction of granting collective bargaining rights and protections for its public employees, there are improvements needed if the law is to be as effective as it might be.

In setting out to prove or disprove this thesis, the paper first takes a look at the private sector experience.One may view public sector unionism as a new phenomenon, or as an extension of the American trade union movement in general.The author has chosen the latter approach because there appear to be many parallels between the attitudes and actions of both labor and management in both areas, and also because we should be able to benefit from any mistakes made in legislating for the private sector when adopting legislation for the public sector.

The paper next moves on to look at the history of the public employee collective bargaining in general and the Nebraska situation in particular.Chapter II presents a discussion of some key issues involved in statutorily controlling the public employee-employer relationship.Chapter III reviews the various state statutes in existence across the country, and concludes by examining some recommended legislation presented by a number of groups.In Chapter IV the Nebraska Statute is reviewed and a number of recommendations are made.

Advisor: Richard M. Bourne