Government Budgets

Workshop Description:

Government accounting norms differ substantially from private sector firms. However, the relative transparency of public spending has not alleviated the public sector from the struggle between workers and managers over shares of enterprise revenues. Statutory public-disclosure requirements, collective-bargaining law, and elected boards thus create unique opportunities for researchers to better understand how our tax dollars are ultimately allocated, and use those opportunities to advance our organizing and strengthen our unions. Andrew Elrod of UTLA will talk about some of the best practices for public-sector budget transparency, as well as the key obstacles to raising labor costs in the public sector. He will discuss some strategic ways UTLA was able to move its core employer to shift expenditures to new directions in recent contract negotiations.

Workshop Leader:

Andrew Elrod, who works in the Research Department at United Teachers Los Angeles, is a historian who lives in Los Angeles. His writing has been featured in the New Republic, the Baffler, n+1, and Phenomenal World, among other publications.