With a strike looming, state workers should know they have another option: becoming fair share payers. Fair share employees receive all the benefits guaranteed in a union-negotiated contract, but the union cannot punish them for working during a strike.
After months of obstructing progress on a contract for state workers, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have voted to authorize a strike – a walkout on state taxpayers – should leadership issue the call.
AFSCME members have spent the last few weeks voting on whether to authorize what could be the first-ever state worker strike in Illinois history. Even if members vote to authorize a strike, it doesn’t mean a strike is imminent – nor does it mean that the majority of state workers want to strike.
Lisa Madigan lost the first round in her quest to stop state worker pay during Illinois’ budget impasse. But that doesn’t mean the matter is settled. The attorney general could take this issue all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.
Despite the fact that the average AFSCME worker makes over $100,000 a year in total compensation, the union has made health care, salary and benefit demands that are out of line with what Illinois taxpayers can afford and would aggravate the state’s financial crisis.
The union representing state workers is currently holding a strike authorization vote. Understanding whom AFSCME represents better equips taxpayers in evaluating AFSCME’s demands and whether a strike is reasonable.
A new report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability shows Illinois has experienced falling tax collections, which may indicate trouble in the state economy; spending reforms – not tax hikes – are what Illinois needs to right its fiscal ship and boost economic growth.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is seeking a court order to stop paychecks to state employees. Many speculate she is trying to force the General Assembly into a budget deal – one that would be bad for Illinoisans. But the General Assembly doesn’t have to be bullied into a bad budget deal. It can pass an appropriations measure to fund state worker payrolls and keep government from shutting down.