Monday, March 14, 2011

Should IT people be able to organize and have unions?

I recall an incident at Bradford National Corporation back in the summer of 1977, in New York City, while coding and implementing the New York State Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS) project. The "claims processing" development team fell behind, and management ordered everyone on the team to work 60 hours a week, without additional pay.

I was on the MARS and SURS team (Management and Administrative Reporting; Surveillance and Utilization Review), which was moved to mid-town to escape the political turmoil. We worked some long hours, but not 60 hours every week.

Should management be able to do this, given that most IT people are not unionized?  Computer people are said to be too individualistic to be organized.  Thoughts?

Maybe it's even more pertinent today now that states (like Wisconsin) are gutting the right of public employees to organize. Even given my libertarian leanings, I thought that "collective bargaining" was legally mandated right.

Picture: 100 Church St., lower Manhattan, where Bradford Administrative Services (NYS MMIS) was located in the late 1970s.  The address is near the 9/11 Ground Zero but escaped major damage, as far as I can tell (2004 visit).

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