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*** UPDATED x1 *** Illinois Policy Institute begins mailing public employees about Janus

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2018

* WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky

If it hasn’t already, a flier will soon be arriving in the mailboxes of many of Illinois’ approximately 400,000 public school teachers, state employees and municipal workers (including police officers and firefighters) informing them that their “legal rights as a government employee have changed.” […]

The flier was sent by the Illinois Policy Institute, a self-described free-market think tank with links to billionaires like Dick Uihlein, who are bankrolling campaigns for conservative candidates in Illinois and elsewhere.

“We want to be a resource,” IPI spokesman Eric Kohn said. “About what Janus means, what was decided in the case. What their rights are – their constitutional rights were withheld from them for 40-some years. Now that they’ve been restored, we want to make sure they have all of the information that they need to make the best choice for themselves about whether or not they want to be a part of the union, whether they want to pay money to a union and support a union.” […]

“When you look at who funds IPI, it’s definitely about politics. Gov. Bruce Rauner gives them money. You can see that Dick Uihlein, who is a big conservative billionaire investor, gives them money as well. This is about privatizing public education and our members know that,” said Illinois Education Association spokeswoman Bridget Shanahan. “If they can take away our members voices, our teachers, our education support staff – if they can silence them and the voice they use to advocate for their students, then they are one step closer to privatizing education.”

Shanahan said the IPI flier is “misinformation” because of a section headlined “member money spent on politics” when in fact legally member dues cannot be spent on political activities.

The flier is here.

* The IEA has also produced a video about the Illinois Policy Institute


Exposing Illinois' complex news propaganda machine

Do you know where your news is coming from? Illinois' has a massive news propaganda machine at work. The groups behind that article you're reading, newscast you're watching or radio show you're listening to can be alarming. Help us spread the word.

Posted by Illinois Education Association on Sunday, August 26, 2018

*** UPDATE *** From Mailee Smith, staff attorney and labor expert for the Illinois Policy Institute…

“What we’ve seen since the Supreme Court ruled that forced union fees are unconstitutional is that workers are being bombarded with information. We are a resource to break down what the ruling truly means.

“Hundreds of workers across Illinois have already chosen to leave the unions at their workplace. We hear from folks all over the state who are grateful to be able to choose their own path. Meanwhile, dozens are reaching out to us for clarity about the ruling and how it affects them. Downstate, a ‘fair share’ payer was told by her union president that she was not allowed to opt out; in another instance, a union told their members they needed to opt out together as a group. Both of these are violations of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“We support our state and local workers — including teachers, police officers and government employees — and believe they deserve to have all of the information on the choices they have now, as well as how to exercise those options, available to them.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

50 Comments
  1. - Joe M - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    Is the State government (administration) giving out state employee mailing lists to IPI? If so, that doesn’t seem right.


  2. - Flat Bed Ford - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    = legally member dues cannot be spent on political activities=

    Is the main Springfield lobbyist for IEA still on the payroll while working full time on the Pritzker campaign?


  3. - Fixer - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    I hope it includes a return envelope.


  4. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    I can’t imagine anyone is going to sit through that video. Avalanche of text.


  5. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    ==”We want to be a resource,” IPI spokesman Eric Kohn said.==

    You mean like an annoying fly buzzing around my head and landing on my sandwich with its germ laden feet? Like that kind of resource?


  6. - Alex Ander - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:14 am:

    === Is the State government (administration) giving out state employee mailing lists to IPI? ===

    Just quoting you because this we’d all like to know this.


  7. - State Worker - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    I willbe marking it- “Return To Sender”. They are stinking SCABS…


  8. - Mod Dem - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    ====Is the State …giving out state employee mailing list===
    Don’t remember seeing that question when AFSCME asked for the home addresses when they were gobbling up all the titles into the union 15 years ago.


  9. - ah HA - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    Wow. I have no words for this other than harassment. Agreed. How did IPI get my mailing address. The last time they mailed me something a couple of years ago is to demand that I drop from the union. yeah. right…

    Not worth a stamp back.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    Who really believes super rich anti union people spend millions just to educate employees and not to permanently cripple or end unions and their economic and political influence? No, really, who believes this?


  11. - AnonAnon - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    This is not the first time the information has been given out. The unions tried to stop it last time and also tried to change the regulations to protect state employees , but it didn’t happen. Another example of Rauner taking care of his employees (s).


  12. - Ole' Nelson - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    IPI= Grifters gonna grift.

    Public workers are going to need to invest some time into educating themselves about all of the information they are going to be facing. My concern is that we have devolved into a society that gets its information in small blurbs of 280 characters or less, thus making us vulnerable to being fooled. These are scary times for unions with all of the money from the ultra wealthy being used to sway the balance towards capitol.

    Hopefully it won’t take going back to unrealistic hours, dangerous work conditions, abysmal pay and no benefits to get workers’ attention.


  13. - Make a Difference - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    Return to Sender

    Would be interesting to find out how many are returned back to them unopened.


  14. - MSIX - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    Our recycle bin is conveniently located between the mailbox and the house for just such nonsense.


  15. - RNUG - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    == Is the State …giving out state employee mailing list ==

    FOIA makes names, positions, salaries all available. But the last I knew, if the State did give that out (or at least salary), they also had to notify you personally under the privacy act.


  16. - Ole' Nelson - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    The temptation to “save” the dues money from your paycheck in order to be able to make a payment on a boat, Harley, insert short term purchase of your choice here might be too great for some.

    I believe the forces against unionism are counting on members short-sightedness and lack of big picture understanding. What many have fought so hard to earn for workers could be handed back easily if people do not look at the long game.

    Workers need to ask themselves if Dick, Bruce, and all the IPI boys are really looking out for them.


  17. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    ==Return to Sender Would be interesting to find out how many are returned back to them unopened.==
    Lol. Tie a brick around it first. Uihlein can afford it.


  18. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    I guess IPI’s newest Senior Fellow is busy licking envelopes when he isn’t being feted at the Elgin Holiday Inn.


  19. - Ole' Nelson - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    Not sure why this post was caught in the filter. Maybe because I used Mr. Uihlien’s first name. I will try again with last names.

    The temptation to “save” the dues money from your paycheck in order to be able to make a payment on a boat, Harley, insert short term purchase of your choice here might be too great for some.

    I believe the forces against unionism are counting on members short-sightedness and lack of big picture understanding. What many have fought so hard to earn for workers could be handed back easily if people do not look at the long game.

    Workers need to ask themselves if Uihlein, Rauner, Tillan and all the IPI boys are really looking out for them.


  20. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    Smart move IPI, if only 1% of the folks that receive the mailer opt out it is a victory. The IPI are in this for the long run and the cost of the mailer is negligible. The local steward’s have easy access to employees to offer a pitch, if employees see the union as beneficial there is nothing to fear from the mailer.

    https://www.afscme.org/news/publications/afscme-governance/pdf/AFSCME-Steward-Handbook.pdf


  21. - Phil King - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    IEA calling other people’s information propaganda is so hilarious. A dose of self awareness could do them some good.


  22. - Jocko - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    In the packet, will IPI explain why Mark (”David”) Janus chose to quit after “…restoring the constitutional rights of his co-workers”?


  23. - Joe M - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    ==FOIA makes names, positions, salaries all available==

    But this sounds like they got home addresses also?


  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    Will be sending mine back


  25. - Albany Park Patriot - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    What do these people think in their tank other than, “kill unions?”


  26. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    Junk mail always lies.
    Anyone believing junk mail is a gullible fool.
    People who send junk mail are liars.
    Don’t read junk mail.


  27. - Al - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    Mark Janis did not quit; he merely filed to collect his retirement annuity negotiated on his behalf by his co-workers who make up AFSCME.


  28. - ajjacksson - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    Phil King…..What IEA does or does not do doesn’t change the fact that what IPI is sending out is propaganda. “Everybody’s doing it” doesn’t make it ok.


  29. - California Guy - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 11:38 am:

    The teachers union in California decreased it’s future budget based on the expectation that they will lose about 23,000 of their 350,000 dues paying members.

    The amount is negligible, but I think it’s spurred genuine interest in other ways that teachers can advocate for themselves and the issues they care about as opposed to a single-shop union situation.


  30. - kitty - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    The goal of the IPI is to economically marginalize the middle class for the benefit of the capitol investor class; organized labor stands in their way to do so. Voting for candidates who support RTWFL, eliminating prevailing wage laws and the ability of employees to unionize is a vote against the middle class.


  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 12:27 pm:

    Do you mean “The teachers’ union in California decreased its future…?”


  32. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    Wow. I did not realize how much IPI was concerned about my well being.


  33. - City Zen - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==Is the main Springfield lobbyist for IEA still on the payroll while working full time on the Pritzker campaign?==

    I thought it was the IFT communications person working for Kwame Raoul? It’s hard to track what union employees paid with union dues work for politicians without a scorecard these days.


  34. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    If I were the employees receiving this I’d be asking how they got my personal information.

    And Phil, the IPI Is a propaganda organization. That’s not even disputable.


  35. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    Do you know anyone who told you that they read or believe junk mail?

    I clear out my mailbox, I don’t read any of it.


  36. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    Something to consider when you, your child or grandchildren talk about a career in a public position. It can become a witch hunt, being stalked with your private information available to whoever wants it. Just sayin


  37. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    “being stalked with your private information available to whoever wants it.” I may be wrong but that’s not my understanding of what a “witch hunt” is.


  38. - Former teacher - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    I never supported unions until I became a teacher. Not going to change now.


  39. - RNUG - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Third try rephrasing …

    Step 1) failed RTW legislation

    Step 2) attempt to split unions by settling some small pending contracts on extremely favorable terms for a limited number

    Step 3) successful fair share lawsuit

    Step 4) attempt to divide covered employees

    Step 5) if enough defect, try to decertify union ???


  40. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    I may be all wet on this, but I thought the State lost a FOIA battle about State employee addresses a number of years ago. As long as one knows the right place to FOIA and can afford it, there’s your list. Could be wrong, though.


  41. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    Skeptic

    Witch hunt–a campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views

    According to IPI, anyone who belongs to a union or supports unions is holding an unpopular view.

    Securing your personal information to try to dissuade you from union membership seems a bit selective in it’s target and quite personal to me.


  42. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 4:20 pm:

    I don’t think state employee home addresses are meant to be FOIAble. 5 ILCS 140/2 (c-5) states, “Private information also includes home address . . .” Under the Exemptions listed in ILCS 140/7, Sec. 7. (b) Private information, unless disclosure is required by another provision of this Act, a State or federal law or a court order.


  43. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    “Witch hunt–a campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views” Well, yeah, that’s what Wikipedia says, but there’s connotations that go with it. Unless the meaning has changed, it’s a campaign to find any trace of a connection to the unpopular view. McCarthyism is a good example. I mean, even if they have addresses, they’re not asking “Have you been or have you ever been associated with anyone in a public employee union?” *That* would be a witch hunt.


  44. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 4:31 pm:

    and Anonymous @ 3:05 (please pick a nickname) I agree, sending mail directly to the person is creepy and border-line, but IMHO just that much doesn’t make it “witch hunt.”


  45. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    AA:

    We received a FOIA request asking for all sorts of information about our employees. Addresses. E-Mail addresses. Phone numbers. We denied all of it. We never release any personal information of employees.


  46. - Morty - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    Well put


  47. - Mama - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    How much did IPI pay Rauner for IL public employees mailing list?


  48. - Phil King - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 7:15 pm:

    IPI on the right side of history, and a US supreme court decision.

    They’re doing members a service, informing them of their rights, that the union should be doing but won’t.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 7:40 pm:

    ===IPI on the right side of history, and a US supreme court decision.===

    They were on the right side of a court case, Dred Scott, Brown, other cases had “right side of history”, then later that history seems different.

    There are those that say the Supremes got it wrong with Roe.

    It was “speech” misinterpreted by fair share bring misunderstood too.

    You can only believe the speech argument if you ignore the purpose of fair share and why there are different values.


  50. - RNUG - Tuesday, Aug 28, 18 @ 8:45 pm:

    == We never release any personal information of employees. ==

    All you need are the names. There are all kinds of databases out there to provide the address. It may take a bit of eyeballing to cross-check the validity, but cheap interns and big bucks can solve that problem.


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