Workers in the vast majority of New York State school districts are represented by local unions affiliated with NYSUT. While the local union is the bargaining partner of its members, NYSUT provides all the support the union may need to carry out its duties. In many cases, an NYSUT labour relations specialist represents the local union at the bargaining table and in the management of the collective agreement. The LRS, on behalf of members, engages at the local level before impartial arbitrators and with the Public Employment Relations Board and, for members of the private sector, for the National Labor Relations Board. He works with the local partner as a consultant, communicator, coach and moderator to solve local problems. Public sector employees in New York State have the right to be represented by unions and to collectively negotiate wages, benefits and other conditions of employment with their employers. This right should not be taken lightly. It was not recognized in New York until the legislature passed the Taylor Law in 1967. Collective bargaining for school employees is currently illegal in five states; Be severely restricted in four states; and in 11 countries, public employers are allowed to negotiate with their employees, but not most years. Members of the private sector are covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which also defines the right of private sector members to organize and bargain collectively. Prior to the Taylor Act, public employees in New York State did not have legally recognized conventional rights.
Under the Condon-Wadlin Act of 1947 that replaced the Taylor Act, striking public employees were penalized by dismissal. They could only be reinstated in the event of a three-year pay break and a five-year suspended sentence. The Fair Employment Act was passed in 1967 following a series of public sector strikes, including the 12-day transit strike in New York a year earlier. The NYC Office of Collective Bargaining (OCB) was established in 1967 by the New York City Collective Bargaining Law (NYCCBL). OCB is a neutral agency empowered to resolve issues of union representation (certifications) and to resolve issues related to collective bargaining, retaliation or discrimination on the basis of union activities and the union`s duty of fair representation. Decisions are made by either the Board of Collective Bargaining or the Certification Committee.