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N.Y.C. L. Rev.


This article examines nonprofit union organizing from an institutional perspective. Specifically, the author asks a basic question: do unions belong in social service nonprofits or are such efforts somehow misguided? To answer the question, the article examines the dual institutional role social service nonprofits play and explores strategies to harmonize their conflicting tendencies. The author argues that the industry-wide unionization of social service nonprofits is the best means by which to actualize the nonprofit ethos and counteract these organizations' tendency to lower wages and working conditions, thereby facilitating cuts in social spending.

Part I discusses the factors that have led to increased unionization among social service nonprofit workers. Part II summarizes recurring issues and discusses this specific role conflict. Finally, Part III harmonizes this dual role, making the case for industry-wide unionization and concludes by discussing union organizing as a uniquely transformative process.