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items tagged with unions

Unions Flex Muscles, Almost Knock Off Rauner
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2014-03-23 11:27:21

It didn’t take long for Republican gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner to drop the word “unions” from his vocabulary.

After bashing public-employee-union leaders for months as corrupt bosses who buy votes to control Springfield, Rauner and his campaign have assiduously avoided the use of the U word since his victory last Tuesday. Instead, he’s switched to a line about how “our government is run by lobbyists, for special interests, and the career politicians in both parties let it happen.”

Rauner’s campaign manager said on primary night that his boss is “pro-union.” Rauner himself insisted last week that he’s not anti-union and never has been.

The candidate’s record clearly shows otherwise, however. Rauner kicked off his campaign with a widely published op-ed in which he called for legislation to allow individual counties to approve their own “right to work” laws. Rauner has also repeatedly demanded that Illinois follow the lead of states such as Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin, all of which have all passed anti-union laws.


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Shikha Dalmia: Half-Right on “Right to Work”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2012-05-12 11:52:16

Shikha Dalmia, writing in Reason (“Are Right to Work Laws the New Slavery?,” April 26), dismisses most union objections to “right to work” laws. But she concedes that on one issue – the requirement that unions provide representation for scabs who don’t pay dues – unions are “on more solid ground.”

But, she continues, unions themselves are partly to blame. “They are required to represent all workers in exchange for monopoly rights over collective bargaining in the workplace. That is the Faustian bargain they made in the Wagner Act.”

The problem is that she makes this sound primarily like a perk for the unions. She neglects to mention its value to employers, or more generally the way Wagner reflects the interests of employers.


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Ted Rall: Occupy Public Education
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2011-12-28 11:53:43



Lots of Ways to Look at Nixed-Pay-Raise Controversy
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2011-07-10 11:25:09

There are lots of different angles to Governor Pat Quinn’s highly controversial decision to unilaterally refuse to pay scheduled, contractual pay raises to unionized state employees, so let’s take them one at a time.

This is Not “New” News. Chicago reporters are the only ones with access to the governor these days. (Quinn has held just one Springfield press conference in months.) The city’s reporters probably don’t know that the House Republicans – and even some House Democrats – have been agitating since at least April to somehow stop AFSCME’s scheduled pay raises.


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Moving the Needle: Illinois Is Notorious for Its Politics, but Compromise on Performance-Based Education Reform Inches Forward
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2011-03-17 11:23:20

Education reform in Illinois features two major storylines: politics and policy. On the political front, two powerful forces – the business community and teacher unions – have competing proposals. On the policy end of things, the primary educational question is whether and to what degree teacher performance will be a factor in school-district workforce decisions, from budget-related layoffs to dismissals to tenure.

As the law stands now, layoffs and tenure are simply functions of teachers’ years of service and don’t take into account whether students are actually learning. Firing a tenured teacher is time-consuming and costly, and the current teacher-evaluation system, all sides agree, is ineffective. Common-sense reform is long overdue.

Given Illinois’ history and reputation, however, one might expect politics to dictate the outcome at the expense of sound policy. Somewhat surprisingly, the substance of the different proposals appears to be getting a careful vetting, and politics have thus far taken a back seat.


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