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A District 211 board member is sitting in on negotiations with the same teachers union that bought her campaign signs during the 2017 District 211 school board election. But much more than yard signs, Illinois' collective bargaining laws for government worker unions stack the deck against local taxpayers.
A government worker union in West Chicago will vote Jan. 26 whether to authorize a strike for District 94's 141 high school teachers. A strike would leave over 2,000 students in the lurch - a tactic not allowed in any of Illinois' neighboring states.
Illinois has enshrined a "right to strike" in state law, effectively giving government worker unions the power to shut down government services to get what they want. The latest example: A teachers' union in West Chicago may go on strike in February to force 22 percent pay raises over the course of the next contract.
Illinois’ unfair collective bargaining laws led to a five-year contract offer on the eve of a strike vote.
A potential strike by Teamsters Local 700 – which represents snowplow operators in Chicago – could have a disastrous impact on travel and safety in the city. Unlike neighboring states, Illinois law enshrines this “right to strike,” thereby giving government worker unions enormous power in bargaining.
Balancing the scales at the bargaining table is an essential step in fixing the property tax problem.
Palatine-area District 15 support staff returned to work at the end of October, following a two-week strike. But workers are still without a contract, making the strike nothing more than a show of union muscle at the expense of workers, students and parents.
Under Illinois law, government employees can choose to walk out on strike – but it carries risks. Striking workers give up wages and benefit contributions – and maybe even their jobs – when they walk out.
When contract negotiations get tough, school employee unions should not be able to strike. It only serves to punish students and their parents, and it gives unions an unfair tool at the negotiating table.
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.