Illinois households that moved out of state earned $19,600 more, on average, than those who moved in during the 2014-2015 tax year.View Report
A solution to the union’s “free rider” claim is on the table. Why doesn’t it enjoy union support?
For four decades, government workers have been denied their First Amendment right to freedom of association, but that could change with a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018.
State workers receive a platinum-level health care plan at a heavily subsidized cost, while Illinoisans in the private sector paying for those plans see their own premiums skyrocket.
Government-worker unions can negotiate for months or even years without reaching a new contract, and can use negotiations to push for even cushier perks from pricier health insurance to paid time off for birthdays.
Illinois is the only state in the region that allows government workers to go on strike, effectively depriving residents of services they need and driving up the highest property tax bills in the nation.
Illinois’ largest government worker union is likely stalling contract negotiations in hopes of dealing with a new governor in 2019.
Since the expiration of AFSCME’s contract with the state of Illinois on July 1, 2015, the union has ignored the state’s financial plight, sticking to its demands and refusing reasonable contract provisions offered by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
AFSCME officials proposed seven tax increases for Cook County as a way to save union jobs, including an increase in the county sales tax, a new head tax and doubling the amusement tax to 6 percent, despite the county’s local tax burden already being among the highest in the nation.
Government workers in Illinois can opt out of union membership, but they still have to pay fees to the union. Those fees are not supposed to go toward political activities, but a close look at AFSCME’s most recent union report demonstrates how unions use fair share fees for activities most people would consider “political.”
AFSCME obstructed progress for months on a new contract for state workers. Whether AFSCME and the state are at impasse in negotiations now sits with the Illinois courts – and the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision not to take a direct appeal of the case means taxpayers must continue to pay an additional $35 million to $40 million each month in health care costs alone.