Misleading new ad claims Amendment 1 protects Illinois nurses

Mailee Smith

Senior Director of Labor Policy and Staff Attorney

Mailee Smith
August 10, 2022

Misleading new ad claims Amendment 1 protects Illinois nurses

Despite proponents’ claims, Amendment 1 would give union rights only to state and local government workers. Yet a new ad by proponents implies it will help nurses in all sectors care for their patients.

A new ad misleadingly claims Amendment 1 would protect Illinois nurses if passed in November.

But Amendment 1 cannot legally provide rights for nurses in the private sector, as implied in the commercial.

That’s because the National Labor Relations Act governs private-sector collective bargaining nationwide. Any time the federal government occupies a space, it stops state laws that would attempt to do so.

Even by changing the Illinois Constitution, Illinois cannot grant union rights to employees in the private sector or govern their relationships with private employers, including private hospitals or doctors’ offices. Only the federal government can do that.

In fact, the rights granted under Amendment 1 would apply to just 7% of Illinoisans aged 18 and over.

So what will Amendment 1 do for nurses in the private sector?

It will raise their property taxes over $2,100.

That’s a conservative estimate, assuming the rapid growth of Illinois’ property tax burden holds steady. It’s likely property taxes would grow at an even faster rate, because Amendment 1 would give Illinois government unions unprecedented bargaining powers that don’t exist in any other state. Exactly how much faster is an open question.

The amendment includes multiple provisions that would hand control of the state over to unelected government union leaders. It would allow those union leaders to demand virtually anything in negotiations, maintain a permanent right to strike to get those demands met and even allow unions to void state laws they don’t like by writing contrary provisions into union contracts.

In fact, it would give union bosses the most extreme powers in the nation.

So while the amendment would grant rights to relatively few workers in Illinois, all taxpayers – including nurses – would be forced to pay for the expensive government contracts it generates.

Amendment 1 isn’t an amendment to help nurses. It’s a provision cementing special treatment for government union bosses into the state constitution.

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