Unionization and collective bargaining in the public sector are relatively recent phenomena, essentially dating back to the second half of the 20th century. In Canada, only 12% of public-sector employees were unionized in 1960, compared to 70% today. In the United States, during the same period, the public-sector unionization rate went from 11% to 36%. In Quebec, the right to collective bargaining was granted to public-sector employees in 1944 (the right to strike came later, in 1964) and to civil servants in 1965. Among U.S. states, it is Wisconsin that was the first to grant collective bargaining rights to certain public-sector employees in 1959. Today, some thirty U.S. states allow collective bargaining with public-sector unions.
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