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The Taylor Law and Triborough Amendment

The Taylor Law and Triborough Amendment

Taylor Law
The law gives all public employees the freedom to form and organize labor units and unions. The employers are obligated to bargain with these units on conditions of employment. Members of the units have the right to vote to be members of the national or state unions. An employee has the right to remain a non-member of any union, but the union must represent all employees, including the non-members.
However, section 210 of the Act prohibits unions and their members from participating in strikes (United Federation of Teachers, 2005). Moreover, it does not provide a period limit for negotiations, but employees must remain in their respective working positions during negotiations. An employee who is involved in acts of strike is supposed to face fines such as additional pay for each day of strike (Chung, Duncombe, Melamed & Yinger, 2008). In addition, union leaders are subjected to fines and/or and full-time imprisonment.

The Triborough Amendment

Passed in 1972, the Triborough Amendment seeks to correct some loopholes in the Taylor Law. It requires that all contractual benefits for employees (union members) to be maintained, including the automatic increases in their payments after the bargaining period has expired (Grome, 2011). It also requires certain public workers such as teachers to gain annual pay hikes, but the state’s economic situation must be considered (Rockeville Center Teachers’ Association, 2010).

Comparison with other state labor laws

In Texas, the Public Officers and Employees Act is comparable with the Taylor and Triborough provisions in New York. First, like the state of New York, section 617.003 of the Texan law prohibits public employees from striking. It also prohibits workers from striking or stopping their colleagues from attending their jobs. In California, the Winton Act of 1965 separated relations for public employees from some employees such as teachers. It allowed employees to meet and confer, but with no written agreements. It recognized employee councils but not bargaining representatives. It further prevented employees from striking. In addition, the Meyers-Milias-Brown Law of 1968 provides employees with collective rights to bargain (Koski, & Horng, 2007). It includes police officers, fire fighters and media personnel employed by the cities, districts and counties (Kemerer & Peter, 2009). Unlike New York, the Californian laws are lenient when dealing with strikes because they impose fines rather than jail terms. In Illinois, the Educational Labor Relations Act permits public employees in education sector to bargain for issues related to wages and work conditions. However, it prohibits employees from involvement in strikes. In addition, the Illinois Labor Relations Act prohibits several types of employees such as managers, supervisors and the police from bargaining. Specifically, this is specified in the the Education Labor Act of Illinois. These laws also permit arbitration. Unlike New York, Illinois labor laws permit strikes. However, labour unins mkust meet a number of conditions before a strike is considered legal.


The labor laws discussed above protect the public from the impact of delayed or halted service delivery likely to result from unnecessary strikes. In addition, they protect innocent children from violation of their education rights caused by teachers’ strikes (Hoxby, 1996). However, they require employees to remain in their places of work even when their grievances are not addressed in the right manner. It is necessary to ensure a time limit for governing the period through which collective barging process takes place. Therefore, other states should emulate Illinois.

Chung, H., Duncombe, W., Melamed, L., & Yinger, J. (2008). Documenting Variation in Teacher Contract Provisions across New York School Districts. Syracuse, NY: Education Finance Research Consortium
Grome, BV. (2011). The Triborough amendment: Necessary protection for public employees or barrier to reforms? Retrieved from
Hoxby, C. (1996). How Teachers’ Unions Affect Education Production. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(3), 671-718.
Kemerer, F., & Peter, K. (2009). California School Law. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Koski, W., & Horng, E. (2007). Curbing or Facilitating Inequality? Law, Collective Bargaining, and Teacher Assignment Among Schools In California. Stanford, CA: Institute for Research on Education Policy and Practice.
Rockeville Center Teachers’ Association. (2010). Learning About the Triborough Amendment and the Taylor Law. Retrieved from
United Federation of Teachers. (2005). The history of the Taylor Law: How teacher strikes became illegal. Retrieved from

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