Public Jobs and Political Agendas: The Public Sector in an Era of Economic Success

Overview

In many ways the public sector and the private sector share concerns about how best to manage their employment functions: recruitment, evaluation, incentives, discipline, retention, compensation. There are also substantial differences between the two sectors. Not surprisingly, a period such as the Great Recession and its aftermath highlights those differences. Some state and local governments that had engaged in precarious fiscal practices were thrust into public attention as their tax revenues receded. But that ...

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Overview

In many ways the public sector and the private sector share concerns about how best to manage their employment functions: recruitment, evaluation, incentives, discipline, retention, compensation. There are also substantial differences between the two sectors. Not surprisingly, a period such as the Great Recession and its aftermath highlights those differences. Some state and local governments that had engaged in precarious fiscal practices were thrust into public attention as their tax revenues receded. But that is not the whole story. The reasons public sector workers and human resource practices are under scrutiny go beyond the impact of a recession putting the spotlight on already-strained budgets.

Public Jobs and Political Agendas spotlights the important public/private differences that account for the special attention visited upon the public sector starting with the Great Recession. The first of these differences was the timing of the response to the recession and its aftermath on revenues. The second difference involves employee compensation and the contrasts between public and private practices in that area. Intertwined with these two factors is the role of politics: social welfare programs have been targeted in recent years, with repercussions for even the most efficient state and local government agencies and their employees.

Contributors: Keith A. Bender, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; Ilana Boivie, National Institute on Retirement Security; Ellen Dannin, Pennsylvania State University; Gloria Davis-Cooper, University of West Indies; Sabina Dewan, Center for American Progress; John S. Heywood, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; David Lewin, UCLA Anderson School of Management; Daniel J.B. Mitchell, UCLA Anderson School of Management and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs; Charlene M. L. Roach, The University of The West Indies; William M. Rodgers III, Rutgers University; Mildred E. Warner, Cornell University; Christian Weller, University of Massachusetts Boston and Center for American Progress

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A valuable and timely contribution. Summing Up: Highly recommended."—Choice (June 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780913447055
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/2012
  • Series: LERA Research Volumes Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel J. B. Mitchell is Professor Emeritus at UCLA Anderson School of Management and the School of Public Affairs, UCLA. He is the author of Pensions, Politics, and the Elderly: Historic Social Movements and Their Lessons for Our Aging Society.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Daniel J.B. Mitchell 1

Chapter 1 Effects of Deep Recession on Public Sector Pay, Benefits, and Employment David Lewin 13

Chapter 2 Local Government Restructuring in a Time of Fiscal Stress Mildred E. Warner 41

Chapter 3 Public Sector Employment in OECD Countries Post-Economic Crisis Sabina Dewan 59

Chapter 4 Cash-Strapped Governments: Privatization as a Response to the Crisis of the Great Recession Ellen Dannin 79

Chapter 5 The Great Recessions Impact on African American Public Sector Employment William M. Rodgers III 105

Chapter 6 Trends in the Relative Compensation of State and Local Employees Keith A. Bender John S. Heywood 133

Chapter 7 The Fiscal Crisis, Public Pension and Labor and Employment Relations Ilana Boivie Christian E. Weller 167

Chapter 8 California's Public Sector Adapts to the Great Recession Daniel J.B. Mitchell 195

Chapter 9 Public Service Cost Containment in Trinidad and Tobago: Assessing the Impact of Contract Employment Charlene M.L. Roach Gloria Davis-Cooper 237

About the Contributors 257

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