Essential Service Unionism and the new Police Industrial Relations
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We examine how an Australian police union boasting over 99 per cent density has resisted the trend of decline. The union historically eschewed arbitration and instead used political connections to achieve goals. The environment radically changed with a major corruption report and the introduction of new managerialist techniques. The union reconfigured relationships with management and government but still made use of political action to secure instrumental gains. It has structures and practices that promote perceptions of responsiveness. The union's support base is built on the foundation of a well-administered legal defence fund. Membership propensity is also a function of the union's general protective functions, its ability to secure benefits and a perception of union democracy. The implications for understanding essential service unionism relate to the political sensitivity of essential services, the nature of risk facing essential service employees, cultural aspects of essential service work as well as some implications common to all unions.
Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector
© 2005 Baywood Publishing. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.