* This was sent to all House members in both parties…
In light of the string of revelations about working conditions on campaigns and in politics generally, we are seeking ways to improve the culture of our industry.
In terms of the outstanding allegations, we believe it’s critically important that all the facts be aired, and that those who were engaged in inappropriate behavior and those who covered up that behavior be held accountable. We will continue to advocate for a process that is truly independent, transparent, and honest.
Meanwhile, we believe it’s important to consider the hard truth: we treat campaign workers poorly and offer them very little legal protection. We often misclassify them as contractors. We demand ceaseless hours of work with meager remuneration. And as we’re discovering, they have very little recourse when they feel they’ve been mistreated on the job.
As a proactive measure to help provide political workers institutional protections on the job, we’ve reached out to the Campaign Workers Guild, a new labor union of campaign staff. CWG has recently worked with the staff of Congressional candidate Randy Bryce in Wisconsin as they have won recognition for their union and ratified a collective bargaining agreement. They are prepared to present to members of the General Assembly, campaign and political staff about their work and the types of workplace protections campaign staff in our state could fight for.
The meeting will be Tuesday February 27th, from 5:30-7:30 at the Red Roof Inn (formerly the State House Inn) at 101 E Adams, in the Gallery Room. We urge you all to join us and to share this invitation with others who may be interested in learning more about the work of CWG. At the meeting, CWG will offer a brief overview of their work. Then, staff and candidates will break out into separate sessions in order for each group to be able to freely discuss their needs and concerns. Refreshments will be available, and limited travel funds may be available for staff outside of the Springfield area interested in attending. Reach out to one of us if that is an issue.
In this moment, it is critically important to focus on the facts of allegations that have been made. We feel it is equally important to take proactive steps to help prevent these kinds of abuses in the future. We hope CWG will provide a vision of how political and campaign workers can come together to work toward solutions to the workplace issues they face, and hope you will join us in hearing from them.
Please RSVP by replying directly to this email.
I know this is serious business, but the prospect of Tim Mapes negotiating with a union is making me chuckle.
Also, Speaker Madigan was asked about a campaign workers union the other day and he kinda laughed it off.