Press Release

Repeal of Collective Bargaining Ban Would Cost North Carolinians Dearly

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RALEIGH – North Carolina’s 60-year-old ban on collective bargaining by public-sector unions is protecting North Carolina taxpayers from footing the bill for a huge hike in state spending. New economic analysis released by the John Locke Foundation concludes that repealing the state’s ban would lead to an increase in state spending of between $889 million and $1.32 billion. The range in cost to taxpayers reflects four scenarios modeled by researchers, from the least coercive to the most coercive use of collective bargaining for wages.

“The negative impact confirmed by our economic modeling is staggering,” said Dr. Terry Stoops, author of the report, Big Government, Big Price Tag: Collective Bargaining = More Power To Unions and Higher Costs For North Carolinians.

Every North Carolinian – every single one of us — would be saddled with an additional cost of at least $84.75 and as much as $126.03. But that’s only half the story. We would also see a decline in state gross domestic product, meaning our state’s economy would shrink, stopping economic growth in its tracks.”

North Carolina banned collective bargaining by public-sector unions in 1959, led by Democratic Rep. Frank Snepp of Mecklenburg County. He proposed House Bill 118 in response to union organizing of Charlotte police by Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters.

A new generation of Democratic legislators in the North Carolina House and Senate have been pushing to repeal North Carolina’s ban on collective bargaining, despite the clear negative impact on taxpayers confirmed by researchers. In 2019, Rep. Zach Hawkins (D-Durham) and Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Wake) filed identical bills, House Bill 710 and Senate Bill 575, to repeal General Statute 95-98. These bills are two of the recent efforts which have failed to reach the governor’s desk even in years with Democratic control of the legislature and governor’s mansion.

“The primary goal of unions is self-preservation, often at the expense of the public purse,” Stoops said. “Our research illuminates exactly how that would play out for 10 million-plus Tar Heels. We urge policymakers to arm themselves with the facts as unions and their allies target our state.”

To interview Dr. Terry Stoops, send an email to
[email protected]
 Or, call 919-610-8727 (cell).

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About John Locke Foundation

We are North Carolina’s Most Trusted and Influential Source of Common Sense. The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders.

The John Locke Foundation is a 501(c)(3) research institute and is funded solely from voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations.