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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      Collective Bargaining and Labor Union Legislation Database

      Current legislation on labor unions and collective bargaining is available in a searchable database. You can search all collective bargaining or labor union related bills.

    • RESEARCH: California, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas

      Dues and Deep Pockets: Public-Sector Unions' Money Machine

      Manhattan Institute for Policy Research | by Daniel DiSalvo | March 22, 2012

      To level the playing field between governmentemployee unions and taxpayers, elimination of dues checkoff and the agency shop are possible steps to take. In fact, these may be more politically palatable, and ultimately more effective, avenues of reform than are restrictions on collective bargaining. Eliminating the public-sector union’s money advantage would let workers retain their right to negotiate with their employers but put them on a level playing field in the political arena. It is the way to restore fairness to the process.


      Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by state

      Bureau of Labor Statistics | February 1, 2012

      Union affiliation of employed wage and salary workers by state, 2010-2011 annual averages


      Differences between private sector unions and government unions

      State Budget Solutions | March 23, 2011

      The issue facing states around the nation is not a traditional private sector dispute between labor and management. It is a question of important public policy and whether states can afford agreements for government employees' salaries and benefits.  The numbers from State Budget Solutions show that the answer is no.

    • RESEARCH: Illinois

      Getting Their Dues? Top Union Boss Salaries in Illinois

      Illinois Policy Institute | by Jarad Perry | February 25, 2011

      Thanks to union expense reporting requirements and the accessibility of the Internet, we can get a glimpse into the compensation packages of top union officials in Illinois.


      Burn Notice

      Mackinac Center | by Paul Kersey | February 25, 2011

      One suspects that the vast majority of workers are at least vaguely aware of their right to organize. Nonetheless, the National Labor Relations Board, apparently desperate to drum up business for unions and work for itself, intends to issue new regulations that would force employers to post notices informing workers that they do, indeed, have a right to organize.

    • RESEARCH: Minnesota

      Public Employee Unions Shun Diversity

      Freedom Foundation of Minnesota | February 25, 2011

      A Freedom Foundation of Minnesota review of recently filed campaign finance reports finds that public employee unions in Minnesota have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 2010 election cycle to support a diverse group of candidates: suburban Democrats, rural Democrats, Twin Cities Democrats, and Iron Range Democrats.

    • RESEARCH: Nebraska

      Nebraska's Unions Buck National Trend, Avoid Decline

      Platte Institute for Economic Research | by Alex West | February 25, 2011

      Though unions have been on the decline in nearly every state in the nation, Nebraska's unions are actually growing.


      A History of Public Sector Collective Bargaining

      Rio Grande Foundation | by Hal Stratton | February 25, 2011

      With all that is happening in Wisconsin (and now Ohio and other states) with regard to government workers, some observers are wondering how we arrived to this point.

    • RESEARCH: Ohio

      The State and its Unions

      The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions | by Jason Hart | February 25, 2011

      Why should the Ohio Senate revoke collective bargaining privileges from both state and local government workers, undoing rights created in 1983 by ORC 4117? The existing law starts from the flawed premise that elected officials and their appointees will protect the public interest in bargaining with the unions

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    • SOLUTIONS: California

      The Beholden State: How public-sector unions broke California

      April 19, 2010

      The unions' political triumphs have molded a California in which government workers thrive at the expense of a struggling private sector. The state's public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation. Its prison guards can easily earn six-figure salaries. State workers routinely retire at 55 with pensions higher than their base pay for most of their working life. Meanwhile, what was once the most prosperous state now suffers from an unemployment rate far steeper than the nation's and a flood of firms and jobs escaping high taxes and stifling regulations. This toxic combination-high public-sector employee costs and sagging economic fortunes-has produced recurring budget crises in Sacramento and in virtually every municipality in the state.


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

      April 15, 2010

      The Evergreen Freedom Foundations' ideas to cut waste, balance the budget and stimulate the budget without raising taxes.


      Cato Tax & Budget Bulletin

      by Chris Edwards | March 19, 2010

      The bulletin provides a brief history of unionization in the state and local workforce and presents the latest data. It recommends that states ban collective bargaining in the public sector, which is the law in Virginia and North Carolina.

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