Craig E. Overton is an Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island. He is also an AAA labor panelist, and has written frequently for this and other publications. Max S. Wortman, Jr., is a professor at the University of Massachusetts, and is a consultant to a number of governmental agencies.
In the past decade, collective bargaining has obtained a new lease on life." Through the signing of presidential and gubernatorial executive orders and the passage of state laws, employees in the public sector have obtained and begun to exercise the right to organize and bargain collectively over their terms and conditions of employment. In addition, every year the number of union members in the public sector has increased.
Although strikes by public employees are prohibited by law in nearly every state, such stoppages have been increasing in recent years. One possible solution to the problem of strikes in the public sector is compulsory arbitration. In effect, compulsory arbitration relies upon "the persuasion of power rather than the power of persuasion."