Impact of Collective Bargaining in the Society Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1134 Words
Date:  2022-09-22


Collective bargaining has been the backbone of the American workforce for decades, and it has been protected under the labor laws. The laws govern the relationship between the employers and the unions formed by their employers. Therefore, the collective bargaining Act allows employees to come together, and negotiate terms that improve their wages and working conditions. The laws also show that employees who are not members of a union have the rights to take action regarding the circumstances of their work. Unions also protect the workers from the control of institutions, and therefore, impact the performance of the economy, as union workers have better terms of service than those dictated by the institutions. This essay explores the impact of a collective bargain in society with reference to the case study of Arizona teachers' union against the state.

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Nature of the Dispute

The Arizona Educators United Union and Arizona Education Association organized through Facebook, called for a strike after their needs were not satisfied by the legislators and the governor of their State. The unions, on behalf of the teachers, demanded a salary increase for teachers, school support staff, no new tax cuts, and an increase of school funding. They also wanted a pay scale guaranteeing continued raise of salaries (Russakoff, 2018). The Arizona governor proposal for an increase in wages to teachers did not meet all their demands, and therefore, on April 26. 2018, the union summoned its members to boycott schools. The strike saw more than 1,000 schools closed, affecting more than 850,000 students (Bach, 2018). The closure of schools captured the attention of all the stakeholders who engaged to find a solution to the dispute. This activity set the stage for one of the most extensive mass action for collective bargaining in the State of Arizona. Both sides had valid cases to present, and neither was backing down. In Oklahoma and Kentucky, teachers through protests had won concessions from there lawmakers in their respective states, hence, giving Arizona hope of striking a fair deal with theirs too.

Causes of the Dispute

The financial crisis that the United States faced in 2007 caused many states to cut funding to various government programs. When the recession gripped Arizona, the lawmakers cut the District and Charter Additional Assistance funding, which was the primary source tapped for ongoing maintenance needs for schools. The State has so far cut approximately US$1 billion from schools since the 2008 recession (Goldstein, 2018). The Arizona districts schools, therefore, were unable to fix air conditional units, repave parking lots, repair broken pipes, buy classroom supplies, and hire additional teachers. The strike also highlighted that districts in Arizona faced a teacher shortage in subjects like math, science and special education (Goldstein, 2018). These reasons created a stage for the heated discussion between the union and the state government.

The pressure of the conflict

The union had many cases to present in support of their demands to the State. First, according to Goldstein (2018), principals were reporting that staff members are moving to other states to earn more per year or to work in better-funded classrooms. This aspect shows that other in other states, teachers received better salaries and better-equipped schools. The moving also brought about a shortage of teachers and cancelation of some programs in schools.

Secondly, in the recent past, cases of school shootings have increased in the United States, thus, the need to upgrade the security systems. Security is vital to both the teaches and the students, hence, an increase in school funding will ensure more measure are put in place to protect them.

The Union also argued that because of the low education budget, schools were unable to buy supplies. Goldstein's (2018) investigation showed that some teachers had to pay from their own pockets, or raise money from private donors to purchase their students' science supplies, chairs, and snacks. The low school budget was, therefore, affecting learning in school and the welfare of the teachers.

Finally, the Arizona teachers called for a walkout, which saw hundreds of schools closed. Redshirts and blouses had emerged as the official uniform of teachers' uprisings against low pay (Russakoff, 2018). This strike put a lot of pressure on the government to resolve the dispute, as it had crippled the Arizona education system.

Evidence of Illegal or Unethical Conduct

The strike was illegal as the constitution requires all children to have access to quality education. Many students in Arizona were deprived of an education. As a result, Goldwater (2018) avers that the Goldwater Institute warned the Arizona State government in possible legal action by parents and students because it is there obligation to provide education. The teachers' strike was however in the best interest of the students and parties involved worked tirelessly to resolve the conflict.

Dispute Resolution

The teachers strike looked like it would go for a long time, but on a week later according to Goldstein (2018), the governor signed a bill that provides teachers rewarded with pay raises, in addition to new funds for schools; the teachers resumed classes soon after. The media, parents, and students played a significant role in support of the teachers' plight and put stress on the government to resolve the dispute.

The National Center for Education Statistics asserts that Arizona teachers' salaries are among the lowest in the country. This situation was due to the recession error cuts, which were never restored or revised after the economy started to recover. Therefore, if the legislators would have implemented the collective bargaining agreement to go in hand with the recovering economy, the crisis would have been avoided.


Collective bargaining improves the welfare of employees by providing a platform for speaking and negotiating fair working terms with the employer. The government protects the unions to enable them to recruit and represent its members. Unions have the obligation to fairly serve their workers as shown in the case of Arizona, where both union and non-union teachers received the benefits from the collective bargaining demands. Good wages foster proactivity and reduce poverty in the society. Without the Unions, the schools would not have received more funding to boost security, buy books and maintain the facilities for students. The primary role for the collective bargaining Act is, therefore, to help workers mediate the gap of wage inequality as well as get better working terms from their employers.


Bach, N. (2018, May 4). "Striking Arizona Teachers Win a 20% Raise, But It's Not a Complete Victory." Retrieved from

Goldstein, B. (2018, April 20). "Arizona Teachers Vote in Favor of Statewide Walkout." Retrieved from

Goldwater. (2018, April 27). "Illegal Arizona teachers' strike and school closures violate students' right to education." Retrieved from

Russakoff, D. (2018, Sept. 5). "The teachers' movement Arizona lawmakers cut education budgets. Then teachers got angry." Retrieved from

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Impact of Collective Bargaining in the Society Essay. (2022, Sep 22). Retrieved from

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