Date of Degree
John H. Mollenkopf
Frances Fox Piven
Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy | Urban Studies
Public sector unions, labor movement, Bill de Blasio, New York City
This dissertation sheds light on how the relations between public employees’ unions and the de Blasio administration shape the design and implementation of local policies in areas of particular concern to public workers. It asks how public sector labor-management relations and public sector employee unions’ political influence affect this mayoral administration’s efforts at policy innovation and administrative practice. In particular, how, if at all, do public employee unions shape the administration’s decisions about the balance between providing public services directly versus contracting them out to nongovernmental organizations? How do these relations affect the direction of institutional reform? This project does not attempt to develop a general model of the political influence of public sector labor unions, but it does identify the potential for and limits to their policy entrepreneurship in an environment that should be unusually supportive. A close examination of three major New York City unions reveals that while these public employees’ unions differ greatly from each other and take varying approaches toward influencing policymaking, they are all constrained by their internal dilemmas and interunion fragmentation, which limit their impact on administrative decision-making. At the same time, the Mayor’s attitude toward the city’s workforce is a significant factor in how much access and power unions have over policy formation.
Eisenberg, Elizabeth C., "Opportunities and Limits for Mayoral–Public Employee Union Collaborations: The Case of the de Blasio Administration in New York City, 2013–2017" (2018). CUNY Academic Works.