Researchers from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say the Illinois Right to Collective Bargaining Amendment, better known as the Workers’ Rights Amendment — which will be put to voters in the November 2022 election — would boost incomes and improve working conditions for workers, as well as better the state’s economy. […]
“The data shows that the Workers’ Rights Amendment would protect Illinois’ competitive advantage for essential workers,” said Frank Manzo IV, executive director for the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and one of the report’s authors. “Construction workers, police officers, first responders, teachers, registered nurses all earn between 5% and 35% more in Illinois, and they’re also more likely to have health insurance and to own their homes in Illinois.”
The report also says union workers are less likely to live in poverty and rely on public aid than their non-union counterparts. Union workers also contribute 8% more to state income taxes, according to the report.
An amendment that gives workers the right to unionize, researchers said, would also secure the state’s labor force in a time where the U.S. is experiencing worker shortages in many sectors.
The IEPI board of directors is here.
* From the report…
The Workers’ Rights Amendment would prevent the passage of a state law or local ordinance “that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and workplace safety.”
The Workers’ Rights Amendment would support collective bargaining and the ability of workers to organize and join unions. Union workers in Illinois:
• Earn 14 percent more and are 9 percent more likely to have health insurance coverage.
• Are 3 percent less likely to be below poverty, 3 percent less likely to rely on Medicaid, and 2 percent less likely to rely on food stamp government assistance.
• Contribute 8 percent more in state income taxes, after credits and deductions.
By protecting the right to collectively bargain, the Workers’ Rights Amendment would be good for the economy. By preventing Illinois’ labor market from deteriorating, the Amendment would:
• Protect $43 billion in annual income for Illinois workers and ensure workers can negotiate pay raises that help deal with high inflation.
• Ensure that 281,000 Illinois workers would not lose their health insurance coverage.
• Prevent 135,000 Illinois workers from suffering pay cuts that cause them to lose their homes.
• Keep 70,000 Illinois workers from falling below the federal poverty line.
• Promote safe workplaces and save 900 lives over a decade, because Illinois experiences 32 percent fewer on-the-job fatalities than states that do not support collective bargaining.
The Workers’ Rights Amendment would protect essential workers. Compared to their counterparts in states that do not support collective bargaining, in Illinois:
• Blue-collar construction workers earn 35 percent more, are 17 percent more likely to have health insurance coverage, and are 12 percent more likely to own their homes.
• Police officers, firefighters, and first responders earn 31 percent more, are 1 percent more likely to have health insurance coverage, and are 7 percent more likely to own their homes.
• Pre-K through high school teachers earn 22 percent more, are 2 percent more likely to have health insurance coverage, and are 4 percent more likely to own their homes.
• Registered nurses earn 5 percent more, are 1 percent more likely to have health insurance coverage, and are 2 percent more likely to own their homes.
• Manufacturing production workers earn 3 percent more, are 2 percent more likely to have health insurance coverage, and are 1 percent more likely to own their homes.
The Workers’ Rights Amendment would prevent laws from being passed that would interfere in private negotiations between businesses and workers or restrict their ability to bargain collectively. The Workers’ Rights Amendment would not only promote superior safety outcomes and a strong middle-class economy for Illinois workers and businesses, but it would also reduce burdens on state taxpayers while reducing turnover costs for employers and ensuring labor market competitiveness in the state’s most essential jobs.
* Opposition highlighted by The Center Square…
Illinois Policy’s Ann Miller said the amendment would allow lawmakers to increase taxes if they choose.
“Illinois businesses are already dealing with a high tax environment, and this amendment would just exasperate that,” Miller told The Center Square. “It opens the door for any kind of policy or anything above and beyond salaries.”
Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, told The Center Square that restaurants and other businesses have had difficulty hiring workers. Miller believes that problem could worsen.
“If we have increased property taxes, it is going to hurt their bottom lines which will hurt their funding,” Miller said. “They might have a harder time finding workers because the cost of business will go up, and employees have the option to strike any day.”
* Illinois Policy Institute…
What Amendment 1 would do if passed Nov. 8 is guarantee a $2,149 property tax hike on each Illinois family during the next four years by giving union bosses the nationally unprecedented power to negotiate contract concessions that carry more weight than state law.
The measure would ensure future union strikes over a nearly limitless range of subjects unrelated to wages and benefits. It would allow government union bosses to negate over 350 state laws and give the union contracts dominance over state law. It would make government unions the only special interest with constitutional protection and make Illinois the only state seeing those protections as a good move. It would let government unions protect bad actors from proper discipline, including those who pose a threat to children.
The website is sponsored by Vote Yes for Workers’ Rights, a union-backed independent expenditure committee. It claims Amendment 1 would help voters “build an economy that works for every Illinoisan.”
In reality, the amendment would only benefit the 7% of residents working for state and local governments while the vast majority of voters would see their taxes go up to support greater government union demands that state lawmakers would be prohibited from curbing.
IPI attempts to explain its $2,149 projection here…
Uses compound annual growth rates in home prices as reported by the All-Transactions House Price Index for Illinois from 2010-2021 to project future average home values through 2026. Uses compounded annual growth rate in average property taxes as calculated by U.S. Census Bureau for 2010-2019 to project property taxes through 2025.
* Workers’ Rights Amendment campaign embeds…