* Zorn quotes from a Bureau of Labor Statistics study…
In 2012, the union membership rate–the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union–was 11.3 percent, down from 11.8 percent in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.4 million, also declined over the year. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers….
Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.9 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers…
About half of the 14.4 million union members in the U.S. lived in just seven states (California, 2.5 million; New York, 1.8 million; Illinois, 0.8 million; Pennsylvania, 0.7 million; and Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio, 0.6 million each), though these states accounted for only about one-third of wage and salary employment nationally.
* From coverage of the governor’s school safety summit…
Other members of the school safety summit said getting students to speak-up about potential threats is, perhaps the best idea from the Springfield meeting.
It would also be the cheapest.
Roger Eddy, a former state lawmakers and current head of the Illinois Association of School Boards, said Illinois cannot afford to do much more than talk about school safety.
“Certainly most things are going to cost money and resources,” Eddy said. “And some communities are going to have to make tough choices about that.”
Cinda Klickna, who spoke at the safety summit for the Illinois Education Association, said the price tag could be huge.
“If you are going to have resources for students, programs for students, and personnel to help students, you are going to have to pay for it somehow,” Klickna said.
Quinn angrily denied that if Illinois were to pay the nearly $1 billion it owes local schools and local government that there would be ample money for school safety.
“I’ve gone out and gotten resources for our schools, and for a lot of other things in Illinois, two years ago. Check it out,” Quinn retorted.
* Speaking of schools, Greg Hinz follows up on my earlier stories about how $35 million for an UNO school construction project was inserted into the supplemental approp budget and helped kill it…
But, in checking around, I hear that the guy who really pushed the proposed $35 million grant was House Speaker Michael Madigan, whose district has turned overwhelmingly Latino in recent years and who probably could use one of those new UNO schools in his district. Mr. Madigan — his spokesman failed to return calls — was so hot for the grant that he actually tried to add it to some other bills, multiple reliable Springfield sources say.
Mr. Rangel confirms that the money “quite possibly” would have gone for work in Mr. Madigan’s district, where schools are “severely overcrowded.” And guess where that new soccer high school is? At the north end of Mr. Madigan’s legislative district, at 5050 S. St. Louis Ave.
So it goes in our fair capital city. Education money is short, and CPS is talking about shutting schools. But those with friends have their ways.
* Other stuff…
* Quinn compliments Cullerton pension plan
* Illinois sets $500 million bond sale
* Chicago Catholic Schools see enrollment increase
* Illinois home sales jump 15.2% as local markets recover
* Chicago-area home sales up 19% in December
* ‘No second thoughts’ about fire safety extension, alderman says
* Former Democratic congressional candidate Goetten back on state payroll
* 292 more cops could move from desks to street: inspector general