The Center is dedicated to achieving balanced labor policy outcomes that are fair to workers, public agencies, and ultimately taxpayers. The Center provides objective research and consulting that is designed to produce fair labor policy outcomes. We can also provide strategic advice, consulting and evidence for public campaigns related to labor policy disputes.
“There is a leadership crisis in California when it comes to standing up to the public employee unions at the bargaining table to keep labor and benefit costs at a level that public agencies can afford. California’s public agencies need to get serious about controlling public sector labor and benefit costs or go ahead and find a good municipal bankruptcy attorney,” states David Kersten, executive director for the Center for Responsible Labor Policy.
“The unfortunate truth is that most public officials have no idea that their agency is swimming in red ink as far as the eye can see and this is due in large part to escalating public employee labor and benefit costs,” stated David Kersten, noting that public sector labor costs typically compose 60-70% of a public agency’s budget, and an even greater share of the agencies cost increases.
“The business as usual approach that most public agencies take to collective bargaining no longer works in the post-2008 collective bargaining environment. Public agencies need to hire outside experts to make sure they don’t get steam rolled at the bargaining table,” states Kersten. Kersten is an expert in public sector budgeting and collective bargaining negotiations and has been at the table for dozens of major sets of labor negotiations over the past decade.
“Public agencies make a series of common mistakes when it comes to collective bargaining negotiations. We can help prevent these mistakes and turn the tide of negotiations back in favor of public agencies,” states Kersten.
For more information on the Center for Responsible Labor Policy please click here.
Here are a few recent publications written by David Kersten, executive director of the Center for Responsible Labor Policy.
"Five Innovative Tips for Public Agencies to Succeed in Public Sector Collective Bargaining in California." (published 9.7.15)
"Fight Fire with Fire: Why Public Agencies Need to Run Effective Public Contract Campaigns to Accompany Collective Bargaining Negotiations." (published 9.7.15)
"Public Sector Collective Bargaining Rife with Conflicts of Interest, Why It Makes Sense for Public Agencies to Hire Outside Experts." (published 9.5.15)
For public agencies, here is a quick summary of some ways that the Center for Responsible Labor Policy can potentially help your public agency (see below for a summary table):
Independent Financial Analysis: The Center can give you an honest, independent analysis of your agency’s financial position and flag any potential issues that may have not have been fully articulated and/or addressed in the past followed by a proposal of potential strategies to mitigate any issues, as desired by the public agency.
Innovative Solutions: The Center has developed relationships with experts in public finance to develop innovative solutions to common problems faced by public agencies. We can keep you in the loop on this inside knowledge and put you in touch with outside experts directly if needed. To keep up with Kersten Institute produced interviews and discussions with public finance experts please sign up for our free E-Newsletter available at www.kersteninstitute.org.
Collaborative Process: This is a collaborative process, and we do not want to go down any roads that the agency does not want to pursue. Initially, we would encourage the agency to keep all potential options on the table to encourage a full analysis and evaluation of all possible options.
Collective Bargaining Assistance: We have found that many of the most effective solutions commonly require redress in collective bargaining proceedings with the public employee unions.
We specialize in bringing evidence to bear in collective bargaining negotiations that will give your public agency leverage in dealing with the public employee unions. We can help improve your agency’s position in collective bargaining by bringing evidence to bear at the negotiating table, in fact-finding, mediation and arbitration.
In the event that you do have collecting bargaining sessions approaching, we believe that your agency could benefit from consulting with the Center on how best to approach collective bargaining with the public employee unions.
Lastly, we want to add that the Kersten Institute and Center for Responsible Labor Policy is not anti-labor and has in-depth knowledge and understanding of how both public employee unions and public agencies operate and cooperate.
We can provide the objective facts and evidence that you need to do what is best for your public agency, as well as the insight and ability to see this plan enacted, despite major potential obstacles.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at (510) 761-8065 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss how the Kersten Institute and Center for Responsible Labor Policy might be able to improve your agency’s long-term financial position.