How a Union Balances Different Interests

When a workplace issue arises, different individuals or groups within the bargaining unit may well have different and conflicting stakes in possible outcomes.  For example, in 2016.10.24 membertip balancecontract negotiations the union can push for raises calculated as a percentage of salary or for raises as a flat dollar amount.  The first formula puts more money in the pockets of those who already earn more, while the second ends up providing a greater percentage salary increase to lower-paid employees.  There may be lots of good policy arguments for and against each of these alternatives, but in the end, whatever decision is made is going to be better financially for one group and worse for the other.  Since there’s no way around this, the union is obligated only to act fairly in how it decides which direction to go, not to somehow come up with a magical solution that is perfect for everyone.

—Adapted from The Union Member's Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer