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1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Robert D. Helsby Papers


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The Robert D. Helsby Papers include materials that document his work as first chair of the New York State Public Employment Relations Board from 1967-1977 and include publications on labor relations, New York's Taylor Law and collective bargaining.


Helsby, Robert D.
Date Coverage:
0.4 cubic ft. (about 0.4 boxes)

Robert D. Helsby was born on August 2, 1918 in Denton, Maryland. His parents were George L. and Jennie Blanche Davis Helsby. He graduated from Gloversville (New York) High School in 1934, earned his BS from the State University College at Oswego in 1936, and earned an MA from the Ohio State University in 1948. He earned his EdD. from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1958 and did additional graduate work at Penn State University and Indiana University. During World War II, he served as a captain in the US Navy. He was a Commanding Officer aboard PT boats and on the staff of the Commander of the Armed Service Forces of the Atlantic Fleet in the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and Philippine Islands. He married Colene Fay Arney Helsby in 1945 and had five children.

Helsby was the Executive Deputy Industrial Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor and Executive Dean for Continuing Education at the State University of New York. He served as the first chair of the New York State Public Employment Relations Board from 1967-1977. Governor Nelson Rockefeller appointed the board and other members included George H. Fowler, Joseph R. Crowley, and Jerome Lefkowitz. From 1977-1981 he was Director of the Public Employment Relations Services, a Carnegie Corporation of New York project to assist public employment labor relations boards and commissions throughout the United States. In 1981 he became a professor of Industrial Relations at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. He researched and published materials on labor relations, collective bargaining, and New York's Taylor Law. The Taylor Law was a result of the Governor's Committee on Public Employee Relations Report issued in 1966 and named after the committee's chair, George W. Taylor.

The papers of Robert D. Helsby include writings on labor relations, New York's Taylor Law and collective bargaining, and materials produced by New York's Public Employment Relations Board and its members such as Deputy Chair Jerome Lefkowitz. There are also news clippings and photographs from Helsby's tenure as chair of the Public Employment Relations Board. The collection also includes reports and documents produced by the State of New York about the Public Employment Relations Board and the Taylor Law.

The collection does not include any of Helsby's personal papers. For related collections in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives consult the Labor and Public Servants and Politicians pages of the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy.

The collection is organized into the following series:

All series are arranged alphabetically.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, before 1999.

Processed by: Amy C. Schindler

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2018-03-06 00:16:47 -0500

Encoded in EAD by Kate Morris, 2012

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Robert D. Helsby Papers, 1966-1987. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 0.2 cubic ft. (about 0.2 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically.

This series includes reports published by the Public Employment Relations Board and its members. It also includes material related to New York's Taylor Law and New York State government publications.



1 1Governor's Committee on Public Employee Relations, Reports1966, 1968-1969


1 2The Joint Legislative Committee on the Taylor Law, Report1972


1 3"The Legal Basis of Employee Relations of New York State Employees," by Jerome Lefkowitz1973


1 4Public Employment Relations Board, Appreciation Dinner1973


1 5Public Employment Relations Board, Conference1968


1 6Public Employment Relations Board, News Clippings1967-1968, 1975


1 7Public Employment Relations Board, Photographs1967


1 8Taylor Law, Reports, Pamphlets, Reprints1967-1969, 1974, 1976, 1978-1980
Quantity: 0.2 cubic ft. (about 0.2 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically.

Series two includes published and typescripts of articles, books, and reports written or edited by Helsby and others about labor relations and collective bargaining.



1 9"Collective Bargaining in Education-Saint or Sinner?" by Robert D. Helsby1979


1 10"Compulsory Interest Arbitration in New York State-Experience Under the 1977 Amendments," by Robert E. Doherty and Mary E. Gallo1972


1 11"Development of Professional Personnel for Public Employment Labor Relations Boards and Commissions in State and Local Governments of the United States: A Feasibility Study," by Robert D. Helsby1977


1 12"The Evolving Process-Collective Negotiations in Public Employment," Robert D. Helsby, Jeffrey Tener and Jerome Lefkowitz editors1985


1 13"A Practitioner's View: Reactions and Commentary on Dr. George W. Angell's Essay on Higher Education and Collective Bargaining," by Robert D. HelsbyUndated


1 14."The Public Employment Dispute Resolution Process of Public Law 447 in the State of Florida: An Analysis of the Views of Labor Relations Practitioners with Emphasis on the Special Master Process," by Robert D. Helsby, Kenneth Jennings, David G. Moore, Steven K. Paulson, Steven A. Williamson1987