Union Issues & Employee Benefits



    No Taxpayer Subsidies for Public Employee Unions

    The Goldwater Institute | by Nick Dranias | October 28, 2011

    the Goldwater Institute recommends that Arizona join North Carolina and other states that completely prohibit state and local government officials from contracting with public employee unions, requiring all employment relationships to be individually negotiated.


    Lawmakers see consequences from Madigan budget resolution

    Illinois Statehouse News | by Benjamin Yount | October 27, 2011

    Illinois Legislature want to prevent the governor from spending money the state does not have in the bank.


    State doesn't wait for overdue union efficiency ideas

    The Connecticut Mirror | by Keith M. Phaneuf | October 21, 2011

    The labor-management panels that were to identify $170 million in efficiencies as part of last summer's concession deal haven't met yet.


    Union's Deal With Cuomo May Prevent 3,500 Layoffs

    The New York Times | by Thomas Kaplan | October 17, 2011

    New York’s second-largest union of state workers, seeking to avoid thousands of layoffs that were set to begin this week, struck a last-minute deal with the Cuomo administration on Sunday on a revised package of wage and benefit concessions.


    Arbitrator rules against Quinn on layoffs, closures

    The Chicago Tribune | by Monique Garcia | October 3, 2011

    An independent arbitrator has ordered Gov. Pat Quinn to halt plans to lay off 1,600 workers and close seven state facilities, saying Quinn's moves directly violate an agreement he made with the state's largest employee union to not hand out pink slips or shutter facilities through July 30, 2012.



    Mich. gov't plans 4 furlough days, lost positions

    Businessweek | by Kathy Barks Hoffman | September 30, 2011

    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's administration plans to save the state money by requiring unionized state workers to take at least four unpaid furlough days off and by introducing legislation requiring them to contribute to their defined benefit retirement plans if they want to keep them.


    State Workers' Union Rejects Contract, Risking 3,500 Layoffs

    The New York Times | by Thomas Kaplan | September 28, 2011

    The second-largest union of New York State employees has rejected a package of wage and benefits concessions negotiated by the Cuomo administration, blowing a hole in the state budget that could now prompt the largest wave of layoffs in two decades.


    Oregon faces added budget pressures as labor settlement comes in $42 million higher than expected

    The Oregonian | by Jeff Mapes | September 23, 2011

    The already battered state budget is taking another $42 million hit because Gov. John Kitzhaber's settlement with state labor unions came in over the limit he had initially set on pay increases.


    State no longer required to bargain with largest public unions

    Wisconsin State Journal | by Scott Bauer | September 23, 2011

    Wisconsin will no longer be obligated to bargain with its largest public employee unions after the weakened labor groups decided against seeking recertification votes in the state at the forefront of this year's fight over union rights.


    Too many managers in Michigan government? Gov. Rick Snyder orders study

    The Detroit Free Press | September 16, 2011

    The state has about one manager or supervisor for every six employees, according to a Civil Service Commission work force report for the third quarter of fiscal 2011.


    Snyder delays move on state employee layoff notices

    The Detroit Free Press | by Dawson Bell | September 1, 2011

    The administration of Gov. Rick Snyder is delaying the decision on whether to layoff state employees as part of a plan to balance the 2011-12 budget, in an attempt to convince state employee unions to reopen their contracts to provide concessions.


    NH workers approve contract to save state $50m

    The Concord Monitor | by Karen Langley | August 30, 2011

    The contract ratified by the State Employees' Association saves money by freezing wages and changing health care benefits. The state budget passed earlier this year requires Gov. John Lynch to save $50 million in labor costs.


    Michigan employees win case over health care cash

    Businessweek | August 27, 2011

    Michigan lawmakers acted illegally when they agreed to take 3 percent from the pay of government employees and earmark it for retirees' health care, the state appeals court ruled.


    13 protesters arrested, carried out of Capitol rotunda

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | by Jason Stein | August 26, 2011

    Scene recalls massive protests of last year over Gov. Scott Walker's legislation repealing most collective bargaining for public workers.


    Malloy Lays Off 56 Troopers

    The Hartford Courant | by Christopher Keating | August 24, 2011

    In a step avoided by governors and legislators for the past two decades, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday that he will lay off state troopers to cut costs and help balance the state budget.


    Impact of union measure takes hold

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | by Jason Stein | August 23, 2011

    More elements of Gov. Scott Walker's union bargaining legislation are taking effect, with higher health and pension payments for state employees coming online this week.


    Labor peace fleeting as troopers, prison guards rally against Malloy

    The Connecticut Mirror | by Keith M. Phaneuf | August 23, 2011

    Troopers insisted Monday that their "unique" status as public safety employees should spare them from the threatened layoffs of 56 new troopers, a possibility after their union declined to accept a two-year wage freeze that would have come with a four-year guarantee of job security.


    State Police Reject Wage Concessions, Plan Monday Rally

    The Hartford Courant | by Daniela Altimari, Jon Lender and Christopher Keating | August 22, 2011

    The number of state troopers - 1,127 - is below the number mandated by the state and the governor has issued layoff notices to 56 of the 57 members of the most recent graduating class. Troopers fear that a wave of retirements might further deplete their ranks.


    Conn. unions approve deal to close budget gap

    Fox News | August 18, 2011

    Connecticut's state employee unions announced that rank-and-file members ratified a labor savings and concessions agreement, giving Gov. Dannel P. Malloy the go-ahead to rescind thousands of layoff notices and forgo additional state budget cuts.


    In Albany, a Labor Pact Without Attacks on Unions

    The New York Times | by Thomas Kaplan | August 17, 2011

    Gov. Cuomo said governors who have attacked collective bargaining and the cost of worker benefits had lost sight of the task at hand - balancing budgets.

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    Unions formally rebuff Governor's request for health benefit changes

    by Jason Mercier | October 28, 2011

    Illustrating once again the need for the Legislature to have the authority to make budget decisions concerning state employee compensation, state employee unions have rejected the Governor's request to make changes to the portion taxpayers pay for their health care.


    Governor asks unions to re-negotiate health care benefits

    by Jason Mercier | October 27, 2011

    Unions exist to fight for their members, not to advocate for policy that is in the best interest of taxpayers. This why it is incumbent on the Legislature to have the authority to weigh all spending requests equally in the context of the priorities of all taxpayers and citizens and not be cut out of budget decisions totaling millions of dollars.


    An Open Letter to Gov. Gregoire from Washington Policy

    October 20, 2011

    The Washington Policy Center proposes seven ideas for balancing the budget that, if adopted, would put Washington on the path to long-term financial stability so lawmakers do not feel they have to increase the financial burden they place on citizens by raising tax rates.

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    Union Rallies Update

    by Bob Williams | May 19, 2011

    A weekly update on union rallies held around the country.


    Update on union rallies

    by Bob Williams | May 11, 2011

    Unions from California to Pennsylvania organized events to protest state budget cuts and rally for jobs in what was a very busy week full of union activity around the country.


    Public Sector Pushback

    by Bob Williams | April 19, 2011

    Lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere have made headlines in the last two months for their bold steps to curtail bargaining rights and benefits for public sector unions. Now, however, supporters of public unions are pushing back; significant efforts to repeal recent legislation are already in the works.

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    Update on Union Rallies

    by Bob Williams | April 14, 2011

    I expect a lot of union protest and rallies in the coming month, and I fear that things will get ugly.  Here are some of the highlights of this week's union protests around the nation:

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    Collective Bargaining Update

    by Bob Williams | April 4, 2011

    Victory for individual worker rights in Wisconsin

    by Bob Williams | March 10, 2011

    The Wisconsin Assembly passed collective bargaining reform and sent the bill to the Governor. This is a major victory both for individual government employees, who are no longer are forced to join a union in order to work for the state or local government, and also for taxpayers.


    No public input needed for fast-tracked union bill

    by Jason Mercier | March 8, 2011

    The House demonstrated last night how efficiently it could move priority legislation when the public is cut out of the process. HB2011, introduced just this past Saturday, was the last bill acted on by the House last night and passed by a vote of 59-36.

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    UPDATED: Why private sector unions are much different than government unions

    by Bob Williams | March 7, 2011

    President Roosevelt once said, "The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted in the public service."  There are fundamental differences between private-sector unions and government unions.  Understanding those differences is key to understanding the public sector union issues in many states.


    State Workers and N.Y.'s Fiscal Crisis

    The New York Times | March 7, 2011

    In all, the salaries and benefits of state employees add up to $18.5 billion, or a fifth of New York’s operating budget. Unless those costs are reined in, New York will find itself unable to provide even essential services.


    Bargaining for a Solution

    by Bob Williams | March 3, 2011

    With pension liabilities and health care benefits out of control and unions asking for more, states are finally taking action. Here's a look at some of the effort-within and beyond Wisconsin-that are underway.


    Showdown in Wisconsin

    by John Stephenson | February 18, 2011

    By reforming collective bargaining, governors and legislators would have a stronger hand in contract negotiations to demand concessions to balance budgets and save taxpayers money. Some argue that reforming collective bargaining and labor laws could be a more realistic alternative to dealing with health care and pension costs than state bankruptcy. The stakes are high for both sides. Whatever happens in Wisconsin over the next several days will have ramifications for the rest of the nation.


    Sharing the Load

    by Bob Williams | February 18, 2011

    Now, when nearly every state is tottering on the edge of a fiscal cliff as they try to balance their budgets, public sector workers are being forced to shoulder a share of the financial burden.


    Time to reset state union rules

    by Jason Mercier | August 24, 2010

    It is time to re-evaluate the so-called 2002 Civil Service Reform in Washington State that put state unions in the driver's seat and policy makers in the back seat when it comes to certain budget decisions.




    Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Analysis

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    State budget expert and President of State Budget Solutions, Bob Williams, and Brett Healy, President of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, discussed the effects of the Wisconsin Supreme Court elections on Wisconsin's Budget Repair Bill and the state budget on a conference call with the media.