Much of the controversy surrounding the budget bills in Wisconsin and Ohio (and perhaps others) concerns the insistence that banning collective bargaining would help the budget. It is questionable how collective bargaining itself could affect the deficit. But the following item provides a comparison of budget gaps from states with, and without, collective bargaining for public employees.
From Policy Matters Ohio:
"We found that on average, the budget gaps of states with and without collective bargaining for public employees are similar in 2011:
The 9 states with no collective bargaining rights for any public employees face an average budget shortfall of 16.5 percent in the current fiscal year, while the 15 states (including the District of Columbia) with collective bargaining for all public employees face an average budget shortfall of 16.2 percent.
For the 42 states (including the District of Columbia) with some (or all) collective bargaining rights for some (or all) public workers, the 2011 budget gap averages 16.6 percent.
The 31 states (including the District of Columbia) with collective rights for state workers face an average budget gap of 17.6 percent while those without rights for state workers face an average budget shortfall of 15.1 percent. These numbers are all very close.
The point is, the right of public workers to unionize is not driving the fiscal crisis of states."
Policy Matters Ohio, 12/30/10