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Unions

States employ 19 million workers - 15 percent of the nation’s workforce and six times as many workers as the federal government employs, according to the State Budget Crisis Task Force.

Salaries and benefits for those employees account for around 30 percent of the state general fund in most states. Benefits alone accounting for more than a third of that cost, meaning that about 10 percent of state general fund expenditures now go to benefits for currently employed workers, many of whom are represented by unions. The cost is growing at a rate that cannot be sustained. To have any hope of achieving fiscal health in the future, states will need to redesign their benefit systems and evaluate state employee salaries.

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    • SOLUTIONS

      Why government employee collective bargaining laws must be reformed now

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | December 5, 2012

      There are three important lessons from the Wisconsin collective bargaining battles over the past eighteen months:

      1. The power of the government-sector unions and their impact on elections is greatly overestimated. With the November 2012 victory for  Senate Republicans to regain control of the Wisconsin Senate,  government employee union  suffered their sixth  major defeat since March 2011.

      2. When given a choice, government employees will quit their union in large numbers.

      3. Government employees' salaries and benefits, particularly pensions, are financially unsustainable in most states and collective bargaining reform is needed.

    • SOLUTIONS: California

      Reform Before Revenue: How to Fix California's Retiree Health-Care Problem

      The Manhattan Institute | by Stephen D. Eide | October 31, 2012

      This paper examines the ongoing fiscal crisis caused by health-care plans for retirees (known as "other post-employment benefits," or OPEB) in one of the hardest-hit states, California, and outlines necessary reforms that should come before tax increases or cuts to government services.

    • SOLUTIONS: Wisconsin

      Benefit Reform Could Save School Districts Hundreds of Million$

      The MacIver Institute | November 29, 2011

      Public officials can help alleviate their budget crunches by offering competitive, not exorbitant benefits.

    • SOLUTIONS: Ohio

      Solving Our State Fiscal Challenges

      The Buckeye Institute | by Matt A. Mayer | November 29, 2011

      Advocating for collective bargaining reforms because unless base compensation adjustmentst happen, taxes will have to go up.

    • SOLUTIONS: Washington

      Top 10 Ideas to Cut Waste, Balance the Budget and Stimulate the Economy Without Raising Taxes

      The Freedom Foundation | by Amber Gunn | November 4, 2011

      Ten ideas to cut waste and balance the buget without raising taxes, including more efficient K-12 funding, spending high education tax dollars more wisely and rein in state employee salaries and benefits.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Virginia, Wisconsin

      Williams Report - September 2, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | September 2, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

       

       

    • HEADLINES: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina , Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

      Williams Report - August 19, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | August 19, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • HEADLINES

      Panel discusses the right not to join a union as part of National Employee Freedom Week

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | August 18, 2014

      National Employee Freedom Week is an effort that includes dozens of state-based organizations and is led by the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) and the Association of American Educators.

    • HEADLINES: Wisconsin

      Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Act 10

      State Budget Solutions | by Hannah Oh | August 4, 2014

      After three years of protests and heated debate, the legal battle over Act 10 has finally ended.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina , South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon

      Williams Report - July 29, 2014

      by Bob Williams | July 29, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois, Indiana, Maine , Massachusetts , Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina , Oklahoma

      Special Edition Williams Report July 2, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | July 2, 2014

      Welcome to a special edition of the Williams Report! There has been a lot of news this week: an important U.S.Supreme Court decision on unions and the end of the fiscal year in many states have been in the headlines. Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • BLOG: Washington

      U.S. Supreme Court ruling against forced unionization of home care workers may strike down Washington state law

      by Jason Mercier | July 1, 2014

      UPDATED Although the U.S. Supreme Court did not rule in its Harris v. Quinn case today, as some had expected, on whether government workers must join a union, the decision does call into question the forced unionization of some Washington residents.

    • HEADLINES: California, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Washington, Louisiana, Montana, Virginia

      Williams Report - June 23, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | June 23, 2014

      The latest news from State Budget Solutions, including commentary from Bob Williams. Tweet #SBSBob to talk about state budget and pension headlines throughout the nation.

    • Washington

      Do you know how the current state contract negotiations are going?

      by Jason Mercier | June 11, 2014

      No? Neither do we. Realizing that potentially hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, we believe that like other budget related decisions, these meetings should be open to the public. This is exactly what already occurs in several states.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois

      Judge halts Illinois pension reform law

      The Chicago Tribune | by Ray Long | May 15, 2014

      Retiree groups and a union coalition called We Are One Illinois won a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in Sangamon County Circuit Court that will put the law on hold and prevent it from taking effect on June 1.