Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



One of the most striking developments in labor relations during the past fifteen years has been the rapid increase of both employment and union organization in the public sector. In 1950, there were approximately 6 million public employees; today there are over 10 million, over three quarters of whom work on the state and local level. It is estimated that 1.5 million of these government employees are members of various union organizations, a sixty per cent increase over the past ten years. As a result of this growth, public employees have increasingly sought and gained organizational and bargaining rights parallel to those enjoyed by their counterparts in the private sector. These advances are significant in light of the fact that government employees have been explicitly excluded from coverage under comprehensive federal and state legislation which guarantees private employees the rights of self-organization, collective bargaining, and participation in other concerted activities. President Kennedy's 1962 Executive Order has established a clear-cut, constructive policy for the federal government's dealings with its employees and their problems. At the state level, however, there remains the need for legislation designed to achieve similar end