The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 25, 2009
Unions good for economy

Union employment, good. Non-union employment, bad.

That pretty much sums up a new report by The Center for American Progress, which describes itself as a "progressive think-tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action."

Looking from 1980 to 2008, nationwide worker productivity grew by 75.0 percent, while workers' inflation-adjusted average wages increased by only 22.6 percent, which means that workers were compensated for only 30.2 percent of their productivity gains.

The center has a California fact sheet that you can access here.

The American Progress folks put out the information to argue for the The Employee Free Choice Act.

But here's the question for state workers, during this season of contract bargaining: How much have you benefited from union representation? And if your union is at the table now, what would you consider a reasonable deal?

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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