Mr. Garber, now a student at the University of Chicago Law School, wishes to express thanks to Professors Robert E. Doherty, Jean T. McKelvey, and Byron Yaffe for their comments on earlier drafts of the prize-winning essay, on which this article is based.
In 1967, the New York State Legislature passed the Public Employees Fair Employment Law granting to public employees the rights of organization and representation and requiring governmental units to negotiate with such employee organizations. Though the state laid the foundation, it left the structure unfinished. While it insisted that the public employers negotiate in good faith, it prohibited public employees from imposing economic costs upon employers who refused to engage in such good faith negotiations. The initial phases of the impasse procedure include mediation and fact-finding. If the impasse should continue, the "legislative body of the government involved," according to Section 209(3) (e), has authority to make the final determination. Public employees may exert political pressure, but may not strike.