Public Sector Unions in the Age of Austerity
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781552665848
  • Paperback Price: $27.95 CAD
  • Publication Date: Aug 2013
  • Rights: World
  • Pages: 160

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Public Sector Unions in the Age of Austerity

Edited by Stephanie Ross, Larry Savage

For decades, public sector unions in Canada have been plagued by austerity, privatization, taxpayer backlash and restrictions on union rights. In recent years, the intensity of state-led attacks against public sector workers has reached a fevered pitch, raising the question of the role of public sector unions in protecting their members and the broader public interest.

Public Sector Unions in the Age of Austerity examines the unique characteristics of public sector unionism in a Canadian context. Contributors to this multi-disciplinary collection explore both the strategic possibilities and challenges facing public sector unions that are intent on resisting austerity, enhancing their power and connecting their interests as workers with those of citizens who desire a more just and equitable public sphere.


An Introduction (Stephanie Ross & Larry Savage) • Part I: Contextualizing Public Sector Unions • When Your Boss Is the State (Bryan Evans) • The Continuing Assault on Public Sector Unions (Leo Panitch & Donald Swartz) • Part II: Public Sector Unions and Political Power • Public Sector Unions and Electoral Politics in Canada (Larry Savage & Charles W. Smith) • Social Unionism and Union Power in Public Sector Unions (Stephanie Ross) • Renewing Public Sector Unions (David Camfield) • Part III: Sectoral Perspectives on Public Sector Unions • Unions in the Nonprofit Social Services Sector (Donna Baines) • In the Public Interest: Nurses on Strike (Linda Briskin) • Teachers’ Unions, Collective Bargaining and Neoliberal Education Reform (Andy Hanson) • Unions of Professionals in the Public Sector (Larry Savage & Michelle Webber) • Federal Public Sector Unions in Times of Austerity: Rosemary Warskett) • Bibliography

About the Authors

STEPHANIE ROSS is an associate professor and coordinator of the Work and Labour Studies Program in the Department of Social Science at York University.

LARRY SAVAGE is an associate professor of political science and labour studies at Brock University.