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AFSCME responds to US Supreme Court decision to hear “right to work” case

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017

* Click here for background. From AFSCME Council 31…

Janus: A political effort to rig the rules against working people
In an unfair economy, workers say the freedom to come together in strong unions is more important than ever

The United States Supreme Court today granted Certiorari in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This case is a blatantly political and well-funded scheme to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people. Behind this case are billionaire CEOs, corporate interests and politicians like Governor Bruce Rauner who have teamed up to deliver yet another attack on working people by striking at the freedom to come together in strong unions.

“The forces behind this case know that by joining together in strong unions, working people have the voice they need to level the economic and political playing field,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “Billionaires like Bruce Rauner are trying to rig the rules to take more power and influence for themselves.”

The case was born as an overt political attempt by Governor Rauner to attack public service workers through the courts. In an interview with the right-wing Hoover Institution, Rauner admitted the case has “nothing to do with the budget, nothing to do with reform” but instead is intended to “change the power structure”. A letter from the CEO of the corporate-backed, State Policy Network—the parent organization of the Illinois Policy Institute—revealed the case’s true intent: to strike a “mortal blow” and “defund” America’s unions.

The lack of merit in Janus is clear. Since 1977, the unanimous Supreme Court precedent set in the Abood case has effectively governed labor relations between public sector employees and employers, allowing employers and employees the freedom to determine labor policies that best serve the public. The Janus case’s attempt to manipulate the court against working people should be rejected.

“This case is yet another example of corporate interests using their power and influence to launch a political attack on working people and rig the rules of the economy in their own favor,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said. “When working people are able to join strong unions, they have the strength in numbers they need to fight for the freedoms they deserve, like access to quality health care, retirement security and time off work to care for a loved one. The merits of the case, and 40 years of Supreme Court precedent and sound law, are on our side. We look forward to the Supreme Court honoring its earlier rulings.”

“As a child protection investigator my work is vital to the safety of our state’s most vulnerable children and families. This court case is yet another political attack on the freedom of public service workers like me to speak up for the resources we need to protect our communities,” AFSCME Council 31 member Stephen Mittons said.

* Related…

* Illinois Policy Institute: Meet the man who could end forced union fees for government workers

- Posted by Rich Miller        

89 Comments
  1. - Soda Drinker - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    AFSCME’s response is stale. No one is saying that employees can’t join unions, just that they aren’t required to pay dues. Employees in AFSCME need to realize how good they have it. Try traveling 150 miles in any direction and seeing if you can get the wages and benefits you receive with the State for the work you’re doing. Here’s a hint, 95% of AFSCME would be lucky to receive half what they do now.


  2. - Nick Name - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    “Behind this case are billionaire CEOs, corporate interests and politicians like Governor Bruce Rauner who have teamed up…”

    And someone in the other thread was complaining about the incestuous relationship between unions and politicians? Hmm.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    A bit wordy and hyperbolic with some of the issues and merits of what they feel the case is about.

    Seems more like a statement directed towards membership and union supports/sympathizers.

    That’s not all bad, but it is what it is and could be addressed and/or attacked due to this response.

    Then again, anything they roll out is/will be attacked so might as well go in this direction.

    Coulda been shorter…


  4. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    “Excuse me, Ms. Lynch, there’s a Mary Kay Henry on Line 1…”


  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Thanks “soda drinker” saved me allot of typing and thinking.


  6. - don the legend - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    ===and seeing if you can get the wages and benefits you receive with the State for the work you’re doing. Here’s a hint, 95% of AFSCME would be lucky to receive half what they do now.===

    That’s a great argument for being excited to join AFSCME.


  7. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    =That’s a great argument for being excited to join AFSCME.=

    Better start printing the posters. Almost 40% of public employees dropped out of union dues in Labor-Strong-Hold Wisconsin after Act 10 passed.


  8. - Phil King - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    If we finally see worker freedom as a result of Janus, Rauner’s governorship, failings and all, will have been worth it.


  9. - Soda Drinker - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    ===That’s a great argument for being excited to join AFSCME.===

    Yeah, and a great argument for tax payers to despise you. Let’s have a tax increase so you can make double what everyone else makes for half the work and get to retire 15 years earlier with a full pension.


  10. - Anon - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    The union is on firmer footing arguing about free riders. Focusing on the “freedom to come together in strong unions” is a bit much. Especially where the counter is that certain workers want the freedom not to come together in the union.


  11. - Ghost - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Given that IPI has no union employees and does not pay union fees; it is worth considering why they are fighting this fight so hard. Pretextualy it seem pretty clear weakening unions helps to suppress wages, otherwise why do ultrawealthy unionless employers fight them so hard.

    Is this really the answer to help our eco only, repress wages?


  12. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    ===Meet the man who could end forced union fees for government workers===

    Someone should get him Bartman’s number.


  13. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    The IPIers weren’t around the Rauner administration long enough to enjoy the benefits AFSME negotiated on their behalf.


  14. - California Guy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Fair share fees are on borrowed time, and AFSCME’s predictable response is not helping. Rather than turn to their usual talking points about “corporate interests (who by the way, aren’t in the public sector) and big bad CEO’s,” they could be trying to explain the situation in laymen terms and maybe even get some republicans on board.

    Would love to see the SCOTUS strike down fair share fees AND duty to bargain for the entire group.


  15. - Fixer - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Soda Drinker, you’re referring to Tier 1 employees, I assume. Those hired into Tier 2 will retire around the same time as those in private sector fields. Also, the ” half the work” thing is a pretty ignorant. As people are retiring/moving/quitting, they’re not being replaced. State workforce continues to decline, yet the work remains to be done.

    Ask DCFS or DHS employees how short staffed their offices are.


  16. - Sue - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    This will be the end of the public union stranglehold over a number of blue states


  17. - illinifan - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    The decades of union bashing will finally pay off for those who believe the death of unions is what is needed. Here is the problem, the people who own the businesses will benefit. Think about the moves to lift regulations on businesses, sometimes the union is the firewall to ensure a business does right by their employees. Lack of regulation, defanged unions will eventually lead to loss of employee benefits, poorer work conditions, and possible erosion of salary. It may take time but it will not be good. Corporate America has a win on this, and platitudes by AFSCME will not turn it around.


  18. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    ==Let’s have a tax increase so you can make double what everyone else makes for half the work and get to retire 15 years earlier with a full pension.==

    Oh please. Get a different job if you don’t like your lot in life instead of complaining about what someone else makes. It’s just sad. You need to grow up and stop whining.


  19. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    ==This will be the end of the public union stranglehold over a number of blue states==

    Disagree. Unions will merely be forced to change dated practices and prove their value to members and non-members. They will be forced to do something they have never done: evolve. How successful that evolution will be is dependent upon union management.

    Anyone who thinks this ruling will be the end of public sector unions is sorely mistaken.


  20. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    ===and seeing if you can get the wages and benefits you receive with the State for the work you’re doing. Here’s a hint, 95% of AFSCME would be lucky to receive half what they do now.===

    An excellent explainer on the liberal/conservative divide over unions. Liberals look at union members and say “hey, you guys get good pay and benefits - everyone else should get that too” Conservatives look at union members and say “hey, you guys get good pay and benefits - some folks don’t have that, so no one else should either”

    Do you do this with everyone? Like, do you see a guy driving a truck and say “you know, that guy makes way too much money. He should make minimum wage - all he does is sit behind a steering wheel all day!” Or waitresses? “Why should I tip her, all she did was walk a plate of food 30 feet”. I’m curious as to the pathology of someone who likes to expound on why other people should make less money for the work that they do, but do not feel like they should mention their own work and pay levels.


  21. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    == half the work ==

    And that comment is just nonsense. Again, grow up.


  22. - Nick Name - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    ““corporate interests (who by the way, aren’t in the public sector)”

    They aren’t? One, they are donating millions toward influencing public policy, including paying all the legal fees for Janus in the lawsuit.

    Two, corporations, either directly, or through PACs, and corporate executives as private citizens, donate millions more to government to influence public policy.

    Third, corporations receive billions from government in tax breaks, grants, and other sweetheart deals.

    In short, corporations are *in* the public sector. Or, if you want to put it another way, they are every bit as “incestuously” bound to the public sector as unions are. But to right-wingers, it’s only bad when unions do it.

    How’s that for laymen’s terms for you?


  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    ===Let’s have a tax increase so you can make double what everyone else makes for half the work and get to retire 15 years earlier with a full pension===

    The bitterness of people and the jealousy of others’ career choices is so blatantly sad.

    I can’t help you don’t like your own life choices.


  24. - Glengarry - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    I would love to see fair share loving free loaders come up with empirical facts to back their arguments rather than IPI and Raunerbot talking points.


  25. - JmJ - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    Well said City Zen


  26. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    =Get a different job=

    I suppose that will be your advice to public employees when they lose their strong-hold on state government as a result of this case?


  27. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    AFSCME could come up with a brilliant argument or statement and it wouldn’t matter. This issue was decided at the ballot box. Unions have lost blue collar workers. The reasons are many. Dems more focused on culture issues. GOP $$$$. …

    Unions need to rethink their approach.


  28. - ZC - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    Further proof that states’ rights is a meaningless concept to conservatives.

    If it’s buttering their side of the bread, they’re all pious about “let 50 states experiment”; if it hurts Democrats, they want one-size-fits-all national control. Economically kneecapping blue states and more generous worker benefits, continues to be a dream of “states’ rights” Republicans all over the place.

    I mean, I think it’s over. There is zero suspense here. But it’s worth pointing out, again, the flagrant hypocrisy on display.


  29. - Past the Rule of 85 - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    Pretty gutsy move on the part of Mark Janus. He gets to be the conservative hero all the while knowing federal law will let him continue to enjoy the benefits of the union. To me that makes him no different than the “Welfare Queens” the right wing loves to whine about. I think he’s got a good chance of winning with the Supreme Court we have now. My hope is that the justices also say it’s not OK to ride on other’s coattails.


  30. - Honeybear - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Exactly Zen City exactly
    Janus v AFSCME
    I believe will be the causative event
    Bringing about the
    Second Coming of Labor

    ( apologies if the religious reference/tone offends. But it is a religious like faith to me)

    But you are right it will force an evolution
    And I embrace it
    The only inoculant is meeting our people’s needs and forming and maintaining the bonds of solidarity with the frontline worker.

    This evolution is my main goal/aspiration and focus


  31. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    =Economically kneecapping blue states=

    Actually, this will free up state budgets in blue states. It will do nothing for red (RTW) states.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    ===Actually, this will free up state budgets in blue states.===

    How so.

    Be specific.


  33. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    The long term plan is to defund Democrats at the State Legislative level. Normal people will give to Dem candidates for President, Governor, or Senator, but most can’t be bothered to write a check for a State Rep race.

    If unions, especially public sector unions, are defunded, Republicans - who already control 69 of the 99 State legislative chambers - will increase their hegemony.


  34. - Nick Name - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    “Further proof that states’ rights is a meaningless concept to conservatives.”

    It’s actually a dog whistle for undercutting and rolling back federal civil rights law, especially as it affects African Americans.


  35. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    ==I suppose that will be your advice==

    Sure. If they are unhappy then find something else. I’m just not on the bandwagon of harming someone to begin with.


  36. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    ==The bitterness of people and the jealousy of others’ career choices is so blatantly sad.
    I can’t help you don’t like your own life choices.==
    Agreed. It has always puzzled me that some people prefer to deny to others what those others have fairly earned rather than making the effort to earn it for themselves. Tearing down is a pretty poor way of building up.


  37. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    ==this will free up state budgets in blue states==

    Proof positive that the goal is to reduce wages and benefits. Great goal.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    ===Proof positive that the goal is to reduce wages and benefits. Great goal.===

    - Demoralized - (exclamation mark)

    I wanted - Robert the 1st - to explain first, lol


  39. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    === … your advice to public employees … ===

    They don’t need the advice. This has always been a choice. The youth thinking about public service are also aware of that choice. I fear there will be no incentive for quality people to make choice for public service. Sad, but you get what you pay for - or should I say what you don’t want to pay.


  40. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    =Proof positive=

    Who cares what Robert the 1st thinks….

    I didn’t bring the lawsuit.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    - Robert the 1st -

    ===Who cares what Robert the 1st thinks….===

    I care about what this means. Be specific…

    ===this will free up state budgets in blue states===

    Finish your thought please…


  42. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    Robert:

    You’re the one that made the comment. The only conclusion one can make to your comment is that the goal is to reduce wages and benefits. If you support that have the guts to come out and say it.


  43. - Nick - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:51 am:

    Right to work is not necessarily the end unions. Hopefully it will have just the opposite affect. As long as members stick together and realize what the alternative is, unions should be fine.


  44. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:58 am:

    Show me a RTW state where the state employees are impoverished? How much of the state budget is dedicated to pension and payroll again? It’s about sound government and policy. Yes, IL and other blue states could benefit from rolling back public union influence.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    ===How much of the state budget is dedicated to pension and payroll again?===

    What are you saying exactly.

    You’ve been asked twice, twice you’ve walked around it.

    What does this mean… exactly mean.

    Thank you.


  46. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    ==It has always puzzled me that some people prefer to deny to others what those others have fairly earned…==

    And yet when called upon to pay their fair share in taxes on those “fairly earned” health benefits via ACA’s Cadillac Tax, the unions were vehemently opposed or requested carve-outs only applicable to their members.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===And yet when called upon to pay their fair share in taxes===

    Who specifically isn’t paying their taxes?

    Your bitterness isn’t answering anything.

    ===…ACA’s Cadillac Tax, the unions were vehemently opposed or requested carve-outs only applicable to their members.===

    Ah…LOL

    Again, your jealousy isn’t becoming.

    Be a state worker, join a union.

    Don’t blame others for your life choices.

    And that “Cadillac” word keeps being bantered about.

    Are you upset it’s a cut out or that it’s a Cadillac according to you? lol


  48. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    I’m saying IL already spends a great deal of the budget on a very well represented special interest. I would never advocate reducing anyone’s wages. But maybe a reasonable half measure… like freezing raises for a while and providing more affordable health insurance. Gee, that sounds familiar now that I wrote it…


  49. - Doug - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    - Phil King - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    If we finally see worker freedom as a result of Janus, Trumps Presidency, failings and all, will have been worth it.

    Fixed it for you


  50. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    Tried to answer. Didn’t go through.


  51. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    =Again, your jealousy isn’t becoming.

    Be a state worker, join a union.=

    What does that have to do with public policy? This is a political blog. Getting emotional is pointless.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    ===What does that have to do with public policy? This is a political blog. Getting emotional is pointless===

    lol

    Well, telling people they make too much, as you are, and making that a public policy decision to lower wages, that ain’t emotional, that’s calling you on the policy.

    I know you don’t like it, but that’s your public policy idea.


  53. - Zzzz - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    All you union haters pull up the pay of ceo and check out the million dollar bonuses they get at least the union keeps it balanced


  54. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    ==All you union haters pull up the pay of ceo and check out the million dollar bonuses they get…==

    A hope no union pension funds are invested in those CEOs’ companies.


  55. - Nick - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    Rtw alone is not the reason for the 40% reduction in afscme memberships in Wisconsin. Act10 gave the governor the power to change collective bargaining pensions. Healkthcare etc. outside the union. Once the governor was able to do that and rtw was implemented there really want much left for Afscme to provide for therefor why keep paying dues when u don’t have. Not quite the same in Illinois there will still be value in paying dues to a union as they will still be providing a much more valuable service


  56. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    Good point Nick. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in IL if fair-share is struck down.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===Act10 gave the governor the power to change collective bargaining pensions===

    So you favor collective bargaining rights curtailed, - Robert the 1st -?

    So I’m clear and all..,


  58. - RNUG - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    == And yet when called upon to pay their fair share in taxes on those “fairly earned” health benefits via ACA’s Cadillac Tax, the unions were vehemently opposed or requested carve-outs only applicable to their members. ==

    In Illinois specifically, it was the State itself that petitioned for the State employee carve out exemption … in order the save the State (taxpayers) money.


  59. - Fixer - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    OW, I don’t normally interject on your stuff, but reading Robert the 1st’s comment regarding how this plays out in IL, it looks like he’s referring to the changing landscape of AFSCME membership of fair share is struck down.

    Act 10 is something Rauner aspires to have here in IL. This gets him a portion of that without any legislation. I’m sure he’s thrilled. “Happiest he’s ever been” maybe.


  60. - Fixer - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    If, not of, fair share being struck down. Fat thumbs move too fast sometimes.


  61. - Johnnie F. - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    I thought the WI law also removed wages from collective bargaining. Not nuch was left to bargain over with so many economic factors removed. IL union workers know what it means to be unrepresented in a stste job…it’s called merit comp. Ask any non-politically appointed MC employee what it’s like to work on Rauners’s farm.


  62. - Phenomynous - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    -In Illinois specifically, it was the State itself that petitioned for the State employee carve out exemption … in order the save the State (taxpayers) money.-

    Because the state (taxpayers) bears most of the cost of the Group Health Program for state employees.


  63. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    ==I would never advocate reducing anyone’s wages.==

    And yet here you are doing it. If that’s your position then fine. But stop dancing around it and own up to it.


  64. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    ==taxpayers==

    Are we really going down the “taxpayer” vs. state employee road again?


  65. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    - Fixer -

    It’s all good, and you should participate any time. Good to read your comment.

    To that,

    It’s more than Act 10 that - Robert the 1st - is walking around.

    The idea he can’t answer direct questions is a hint.

    Hope to read more comments from you

    OW


  66. - Skeptic - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    Robert the 1st: You realize that the pension is not a union benefit, right?


  67. - ANON - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    Within the decade, the federal government is going to take healthcare out of the afscme bargaining picture anyway. Obamacare is going to become single payer at which time it is no longer part of their contracting negotiating. So the long term democrat game plan is taking away some of your bargaining rights.


  68. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:09 pm:

    Again I say. We union types are our own enemies.
    Laws in blue states have only slowed the death of unions. Consumer choices have driven the marketplace to de-unionize. Lack of union numbers in the private sector dooms the public sector unions. Sorry to be so pessimistic, but let’s look in the mirror and see our own shopping/spending trends.


  69. - RNUG - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    == Are we really going down the “taxpayer” vs. state employee road s so? ==

    -Demoralized-, if you are referring to my comment, that was not the intent. I was trying to show it was not the union pushing for the ACA “Cadillac” exemption.

    As a former State employee (SERS), I know they pay State taxes just like everyone else.


  70. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:47 pm:

    Nope, RNUG. It was this one

    Phenomynous - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:14 pm:


  71. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:49 pm:

    ==I was trying to show it was not the union pushing for the ACA “Cadillac” exemption.==

    You might wanna check with Richard Trumka on that.


  72. - Sue - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:53 pm:

    CityZen- if you don’t think this could significantly erode public sector unions- take a day trip up to Wisconsin. Membership in public sector unions is off by 70 percent following what Walker did. If you are not forced to pay dues- most opt not to


  73. - California Guy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    @ Nick Name

    Private corporations will not have their labor management rights altered if the mandatory fair share fee for public sector unions is struck down. Secondly, unions remain one of the most influential interest groups in all of politics, especially in Illinois.

    My point was that the overly simplistic “big bad corporations” arguments from AFSCME have not won and will continue to not win. Their website is littered with borderline spam that reminds me of Facebook ads during the Presidential election.

    People outside of this blog that don’t follow the issues carefully are probably more unaware than AFSCME thinks about the significance of this case. They don’t have a comprehensive understanding of why the fair share fee is there in the first place, or why it would be such a big deal if it were struck down. AFSCME’s response is weak and ineffective, which was my point.


  74. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    Sue:

    In Wisconsin the ability of unions to negotiate the important things was taken away. Why continue to pay if you don’t have to when the union no longer has the right to negotiate anything of significance.

    We’re only talking about Fair Share here, not laws regarding what can and can’t be negotiated. The Wisconsin issues aren’t comparable to Illinois.


  75. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    Sue - Unions will indeed suffer some setbacks, but they will survive. Some unions will decide to merge to offset membership losses. Some members will opt out, but some will come back. Any union leadership that has no change management plan will be ousted. Any union not demonstrating value beyond bargaining will be on thin ice.

    What will be interesting is how the younger generations perceive union membership. Once given a choice - knowing that not only do their prospective unions offer minimal protection for new employees but charge them the same amount in dues - will they go union? Will the unions finally adopt the truly progressive practices they expect from everyone else?

    Unions and their members could emerge better off from this. It’s a rare opportunity for change in an industry that has treated change like the plague.


  76. - Sue - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    Demoralized- absent fair share- dues dollars available to fund democratic candidates will dry up. Take away the unions and all the D’s have left in terms of $$ will be Hollywood types and trial lawyers


  77. - Steve - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:13 pm:

    Illinois is a union state. A Supreme Court decision isn’t going to change that. Whatever the Court comes down with, the unions and the elected Illinois politicians will come up with a solution that will make the unions happy. Illinois isn’t Wisconsin….


  78. - California Guy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    @ City Zen

    –What will be interesting is how the younger generations perceive union membership. Once given a choice - knowing that not only do their prospective unions offer minimal protection for new employees but charge them the same amount in dues - will they go union? Will the unions finally adopt the truly progressive practices they expect from everyone else?–

    I can tell you that here in California, especially the Bay Area, young people often don’t see the need or understand the historic value of unions. The new industries that are thriving (tech, service sector, logistics) aren’t really like the old bureaucratic organizations of the past that had union representation (manufacturing, industrials, mining, etc.).

    No matter how “lefty” the employees of Facebook, Oracle, Salesforce.com, etc. are, none of them will EVER unionize. It just won’t happen.

    I just don’t see unions playing a major role in the future/high tech economy. “Pro-labor” lobbying will have to be done some other way.


  79. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    Sue-

    In the case of Illinois I disagree. When the Governor tried to eliminate Fair Share, many Fair Share individuals joined the union as full members. So long as the subjects of collective bargaining are diminished I wouldn’t expect a mass exodus of individuals from the union.


  80. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    *aren’t diminished*


  81. - Homer J. Quinn - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    The younger generations skew much more left than the olds. That’s why the olds are spending so much effort to destroy unions before the young can join them.


  82. - Anna - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    So can unions attemp to “kick out those” who refuse to pay? Or does a piece of legislation have to pass for that to occur? They obviously cannot fire them as they are not employed by the union. I’m just curious what options the unions have if 40 percent decided they are paying zero.


  83. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    =The younger generations skew much more left than the olds.=

    That is and always will be true.


  84. - RNUG - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    Doesn’t AFSCME have a separate PAC that their members contribute to for direct political support of candidates?

    Losing Fair Share won’t change that. And losing Fair Share won’t directly affect the manpower the unions can supply to a candidate’s campaign effort.

    All I see losing Fair Share will do is somewhat limit the money spent by AFSCME (not their PAC) on lobbyists trying to get the General Assembly to protect or expand benefits for state employees.

    The other thing it may do, if resources are truly limited, is force unions to focus more on core issues of wages and health insurance instead of some of the workplace rule fights and nitpicking.

    Will there be some membership loss? Maybe. But my sense is it may be minimal here in Illinois where you have a government administration that is actively hostile to union workers.

    Having worked under pre-union (and still existing) Civil Service rules and later in various exempt and non-exempt Merit Comp positions, I can cite the problems those systems have. As a former manager of union positions, I can also cite the problems with unions. But, ALL of those systems, even with their flaws, serve some valid purposes, including preventing political patronage, favoritism, and retailation. They also provide continuity, consistency and institutional knowledge in state operations, something I think is desirable.

    Anyway, this was all a long way of saying I don’t think even reversing the Aboud decision will have as big an effect as people think. There will be a period of uncertainty and rebalancing, but I think the end result might be a small loss of union influence but I don’t think it will be the race to the bottom some people expect it to be. It might even get the rebirth of the unions in a reinvigorated and refocused form.


  85. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 6:55 pm:

    If they don’t want to be union employees the so be it. Make equivalent exempt positions and have them placed in them. No pay for union benefits or representation then no protect as exempt employees have. Let them choose if they want to gamble.


  86. - Fixer - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 7:58 pm:

    RNUG, in response to your question, yes, AFSCME has a PAC that is completely voluntary that is used for campaign support. It’s called PEOPLE and I believe it’s $4 per pay period.


  87. - Generic Drone - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 8:02 pm:

    Yep lets just hand over our entire labor rights to corporate interests. Lets let the corporations and ultra wealthy be the only ones with enough money to buy whats left of our republic. Citizens United has led us down this destruction. If The Supreme Court rules against AFSCME, then it will take decades for labor to recover.


  88. - Generic Drone - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 8:16 pm:

    Robert the 1st. ” I’m saying that IL already spends a great deal of the budget on special interests.” You are talking about the billions spent on corporate incentives, right? Exelon ring a bell?


  89. - Robert the 1st - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:09 pm:

    Darn those corporations Generic Drone. Someday people will wise up and we’ll all work for the state.


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