Posts tagged Illinois Policy Institute

    Union membership in Illinois dropped by 27,000 workers in 2023

    February 16, 2024 // Criticizing a new bill filed in the Illinois legislature that would require high schools to observe “Workplace Readiness Week,” Mailee Smith, the Illinois Policy Institute’s senior director of Labor Policy and staff attorney, said unions, particularly government unions, will do whatever they can to ensure they maintain that foothold over power. “With this bill, it is about getting the kids … early on to give them this information about unionization and this becomes part of their thought process and part of their worldview without any sort of opposite viewpoint being taught to them,” Smith said.

    Liberty Justice Center Defends Janus Rights in Alaska

    October 6, 2023 // In the years since the Supreme Court issued its ruling, multiple states have passed laws to make it more difficult for employees to know and exercise their rights under Janus. In addition, multiple lower courts have refused to enforce the “affirmative consent” requirements set forth by the Supreme Court when employees have sought to enforce their Janusrights by alleging that they did not consent to pay unions freely or knowingly. “Unions have convinced states, government employers, and the lower courts to ignore one of the most important parts of the Janus decision,” said Liberty Justice Center Senior Counsel Jeffrey Schwab. “The Supreme Court must intervene and make clear that it meant what it said in Janus—workers must be fully informed of their rights before the union can claim any of their paycheck.” In their amicus brief, Mark Janus, the Liberty Justice Center, and the Illinois Policy Institute urge the Supreme Court to hear Alaska v. Alaska Employees Association and affirm that the Court’s ruling in Janus means that money cannot be withheld from employees on behalf of unions unless and until the government has clear evidence of the employees’ free and knowing consent.

    Illinois’ new deal with AFSCME union to cost taxpayers an additional $620 million

    July 27, 2023 // In 2022, the Illinois Comptroller's salary database shows all state employees combined were paid over $6 billion. That's more than $200 million more than the $5.8 billion spent in 2021. Hill said along with the new contract, workers will also receive bonuses. "Current employees of AFSCME are going to get stipends of $1,200 upon the ratification of the agreement," Hill said. "Not only are there going to be wage gains in excess of what the private sector is getting and what the state can afford, but we are also going to be giving out apparent bonuses to members." Pritzker said the negotiations with AFSCME were fair. "I’m thankful for a productive negotiation that led to a contract which recognizes the valuable contributions of state employees and makes government more efficient," Pritzker said.

    Five years ago, U.S. Supreme Court strikes down forced public union dues

    July 5, 2023 // Following the Supreme Court ruling, Janus left his job with the state of Illinois to join the Illinois Policy Institute, a free market think tank. The ruling affected union participation around the country. According to the Freedom Foundation, over a quarter of a million workers have left the four largest public unions since the Janus decision, which is a decline of about 10 percent. After the ruling, AFSCME Council 31, the union Janus sued, saw nearly a 20% drop in membership.

    Chicago School Principals Average $157K, Unionizing

    June 13, 2023 // The already-high pay averages are both substantially higher than other principals and assistant principals in Illinois, which average $116,400 and $100,000, respectively. Median household income in Chicago is $65,781. This movement is likely to succeed. Mayor Brandon Johnson has already signaled support for this unionization attempt during his campaign, and has created a deputy mayor for labor relations position that will “foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of Chicago” and “assure work-related benefits and rights.”

    Right-to-unionize amendment clears Pa. House committee

    May 2, 2023 // The House Labor and Industry Committee reported out the proposal introduced by Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Philadelphia, and Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, with a 12-9 vote. Republicans, who questioned the amendment’s impact on other laws, were unanimous in opposition. “This bill is really, really simple,” Fiedler said. “It would enshrine in the state Constitution the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain, period, exclamation point.” To amend the state Constitution, a proposed amendment must be approved by both chambers of the General Assembly in consecutive sessions. The proposal is then put before voters in a referendum. The earliest the right-to-unionize amendment could appear on the ballot would be the 2025 primary election.

    I4AW Adds Three Labor Voices to Prestigious Senior Fellows Program

    January 30, 2023 // These new fellows- Ken Girardin, David Osborne, and Mailee Smith- have impressive backgrounds as policy leads at the foremost labor policy organizations in the country. Their work is bridging the information gap with data and analysis that show how outdated labor policies and special interest politics are harming a large swath of the American workforce and producing hostile economic conditions for workers and small business owners. “We are proud to highlight the important research and analysis that Ken, Mailee and David are contributing to the labor policy debate,” said president of Institute for the American Worker, F. Vincent Vernuccio. “These new fellows and their respective organizations are on the cutting edge of labor policy, and we are honored to include them on the I4AW team.”

    Illinois: Local unions celebrating anticipated passing of Workers’ Rights Amendment

    November 10, 2022 // Marilee Smith, with the Illinois Policy Institute, said the amendment could give union leaders too much power. “It could allow government unions to negotiate virtually anything,” Smith said.

    Two states, two visions for the future of labor “Right-to-work” is on the ballot.

    October 3, 2022 // Two economic papers published in the last year also reached different conclusions about the consequences of right-to-work laws. The first found right-to-work laws associated with increased manufacturing employment, increased employment, and greater upward mobility. The second found that right-to-work laws lower wages and unionization rates.