MENU

Collective Bargaining

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Collective Bargaining Update July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013

Updates this week:

  • KANSAS: Deerfield teachers opt out of NEA/KEA. Heartland Institute. July 16, 2013.
  • LOUISIANA: 3800 state employees laid off in last year. Associated Press. July 18, 2013.
  • MICHIGAN: Unions wage court fight against RTW law. Washington Times. July 16, 2013.
  • NEW JERSEY: How unions fared under Gov. Christie. Trentonian. July 21, 2013.
  • OREGON: SEIU and ASCME reach agreement with state, strike adverted. Associated Press and Statesman Journal.July 18, 2013.
  • WISCONSIN: Prison guards vote to leave State Employees Union. LaCrosse Tribune. July 18, 2013.
  • Governor’s reforms to save Milwaukee taxpayers $110 million/year by 2020. Wisconsin Reporter. July 18, 2013.

Bob's Recommended Reading:

Recent Articles:

  • NEA can't escape responsibility for insurance venture that allegedly cheated schools out of millions. EAGNews.org. May 20, 2013.
  • Obamacare vs. Unions."Unions may lose yet another bargaining chip. Americans for Tax Reform reports on Obamacare's 40 percent excise tax on ‘high cost or "Cadillac" health insurance plans' starting in 2018: ‘This tax increase will most directly affect union families and early retirees, who are likely to be covered by such plans. This Obamacare tax will be levied on insurance policies whose premiums exceed $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family. Middle class union members tend to be covered by such plans in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.'" Detroit News. May 16, 2013.
  • Union notice rules loses in appeals court. "In another blow to the nation's dwindling labor unions, an appeals court this week struck down a federal rule that would have required millions of businesses to put up posters informing workers of their right to form a union. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said Tuesday the National Labor Relations Board violated employers' free speech rights in trying to force them to display the posters or face charges of committing an unfair labor practice." Washington Post. May 9, 2013.
  • Ten Things you should know about union membership numbers. EIA Online: Intercepts. January 28, 2013.
  • Americans are still fleeing high-tax, forced-unionism states with good reason. Jackson Press. January 4, 2013.

State by State:

Arizona

California

  • SEIU local 1000 contract agreement passes California Senate. “The agreement, negotiated between the state and the Service Employees International Union Local 1000, would boost salaries 4.5 percent by 2015. The Assembly has already given it the green light, and rank-and-file union members have until July 8, to cast ratification votes.” Sacramento Bee. July 3, 2013.
  • A group of California teachers is preparing for a Supreme Court battle to overturn forced union dues. Washington Free Beacon. July 1, 2013.
  • Legislative Analyst’s Office warns that the proposed salary increases for rank and file employees could outpace salary increases for managerial and supervisor positions, leading to salary competition. Sacramento Bee. June 27, 2013.
  • Taxpayers wind up paying for employee contributions of the government employee pension plan as part of “pension pickup” deals. San Jose Mercury News. June 24, 2013.
  • Union says labor agreement includes worker raises. “The contract, which must be ratified by voting members of the 95,000-employee of SEIU Local 1000, provides either a 2 percent raise July 1, 2014 and a 2.5 percent raise a year later if the state ‘achieves certain revenue targets,’ according to an early-morning union email announcing the deal. If the state misses the revenue targets, the entire 4.5 percent increase would be effective July 1, 2015.” Fresno Bee. June 11, 2013.
  • Estimates on the tentative SEIU Local 1000 contract add up to $734.8 million more in government employee compensation in the next three years. Sacramento Bee. June 17, 2013.
  • California’s Supreme Court trashes privacy rights so unions can collect dues. Washington Examiner. June 6, 2013.
  • State worker unions lose ruling on loss of two paid holidays. Sacramento Bee. May 17, 2013.
  • A recently filed lawsuit in California picks up where Knox v. SEIU left off. Union Watch. May 7, 2013.
  • Unions spends teachers' money on politics says suit. Daily Caller. May 3, 2013.
  • Unions vs. Home Rule. A Senate bill would undermine some California's cities' independence. City Journal. April 25, 2013.
  • Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have launched a protest against their own union in California over waste and corruption. They rallied outside SEIU headquarters last week and plan to be in Sacramento on Wednesday. The protestors are calling for transparency, accountability, and audits of the 2-million member labor union. The group's website is urging members to hold their representatives accountable: "It is our members that see the waste every day; it is our members that can call it out to the union representatives in their area." Heritage Foundation. October 23, 2012.
  • Poll suggests Californians fed up with big government, public employees. "53 percent of Californians say unions have too much power when negotiating their pay and benefits, while only 15 percent say too little and just 24 percent say they have the right amount. Even more residents - 67 percent - believe public employees get better benefits than private sector counterparts while only 11 percent say they get worse benefits. In light of the fact that most public employees typically have guaranteed pensions, while most private sector workers get payments from ‘401(k)-style' accounts, 69 percent favor shifting new public employees - who have not yet been promised any pension benefits - away from guaranteed pensions to 401(k)s. Twenty-four percent oppose this. Furthermore, 62 percent of Californians favor reducing the number of state employees to help balance the budget, with only 33 percent of residents opposed to this." Daily Caller. October 22, 2012.
  • California public employees earn up to 30 percent more in total compensation than comparable private-sector workers. Heritage Foundation. March 18, 2011.

Connecticut

  • U.S. court of appeals rebukes former Governor Rowland, rules that 2003 layoffs were punitive. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit faulted Rowland for exclusively eliminating union jobs when the Republican governor was confronting a budget deficit. The unions claimed that Rowland made cuts to coerce and punish, not balance the budget. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel in New York is a victory for public-employee unions at a time when union rights are under political attack, with consequences for Connecticut politics and more broadly for public-sector labor-management relations. It reverses U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello's dismissal of the case, finds for the unions as a matter of summary judgment and orders the U.S. District Court in Hartford to now determine damages.” Connecticut Mirror. June 3, 2013.
  • Gov. Malloy comes through for unions where legislature failed. Raisin Hale (blog). September 21, 2011.
  • Concession talks end with new tentative deal. The administration of Gov. Malloy announced a new tentative concession agreement, setting the stage for another attempt by a coalition of state employee unions to ratify a deal that could stave off mass layoffs and deep budget cuts. "So that there is no confusion, let's be clear about what this clarified agreement is. This agreement saves the same amount of money as the last agreement- $1.6 billion over 2 years, $21.5 billion over 20 years - and it contains all of the same cost-saving provisions as the last agreement." SEBAC followed by minutes with a statement that the new tentative deal addresses a major concern of union members: that a new wellness program was not the first step toward placing state employees in a new health plan modeled after SustiNet, the state's failed attempt at establishing a universal health system. Connecticut Mirror. July 22, 2011.

Florida

  • A teachers union lawsuit against the Florida's merit pay law has been dismissed by a state circuit judge. The judge determined that the 2011 law does not prohibit collective bargaining, as the union alleged. Orlando Sentinel. May 2, 2013.
  • Safeguarding Employees' First Amendment Rights through paycheck protection. James Madison Institute. December 2012.

Hawaii

  • With a 70 percent vote, the Hawaii State Teachers Association approved a four-year deal with the state that guarantees a minimum three percent annual raise over three years. This will also eliminate the five percent pay cut taken due to the lack of an agreement in the year prior. Pacific Business News. April 18, 2013.
  • Hawaii's public sector employment needs reform. Hawaii Reporter. July 31, 2011.

Idaho

  • Judge upholds law curbing teachers' bargaining rights. The Idaho Education Association, which represents 12,000 teachers, filed the lawsuit and argued the law retroactively eliminated an existing retirement benefit by voiding an early retirement incentive for some educators. The Judge agreed with the teachers union that the law, which was passed by the Republican-led legislature in March, caused "substantial" contractual impairments. But the judge, siding with the state in a ruling handed down on September 29 and made public on September 30, said the constitution allows such actions when they serve a key public purpose. The state had a significant and legitimate public purpose in imposing the regulation, which "relates to matters of efficiency and accountability within Idaho's public school system," Judge Hansen wrote in the decision. Reuters. September 30, 2011.

Indiana

  • Governor Mitch Daniels says it is time for government unions to go. "Voters are seeing the fundamental unfairness of government becoming its own special interest group, sitting on both sides of the table," Daniels said. CBS News. June 10, 2012.
  • Governor signs right to work bill. The bill prohibits companies and employees from agreeing to contracts that require workers who aren't union members to pay representative fees." Associated Press. February 1, 2012.
  • A public employees union has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Mitch Daniels and the state personnel director, challenging the constitutionality of a law that bars any governor from granting collective bargaining rights to state workers. That provision was included in the new state budget adopted by the legislature this year. In the 1980s, Gov. Evan Bayh had issued an executive order granting collective bargaining. That stayed in effect until Daniels' first full-day in office in 2005, when he ended collective bargaining. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 62, which continues to represent some Indiana state employees though they can negotiate for wages and benefits, filed the lawsuit in Marion Circuit Court. Indianapolis Star. August 31, 2011.

Illinois

  • Public workers could get a raise as programs for needy are cut. Watchdog.org. May 28, 2013.
  • Gov. Quinn signs bill that may strip mangers of union status. Evansville Courier & Press. April 6, 2013.
  • The new AFSCME contract: a deal Illinois can't afford. Illinois Policy Institute. March 1, 2013.
  • Roadblock to reform: How Illinois labor law empowers government unions at taxpayers' expense. Illinois Policy Institute. August 30, 2012.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Walker says Illinois should confront union issues. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 17, 2012.
  • Governor Quinn signed SB7, an education reform bill that changes the standards of hiring and firing for teachers. Under the law, tenure and layoffs of teachers will be determined by student performance, rather than union seniority rules. The bill also allows for extending the length of the school day. Huffington Post. June 13, 2011.

Iowa

  • State employees and Gov. Branstad reached an agreement on a new contract that will keep salaries for unionized state employees static for two years, but will also allow them to keep their 100 percent state-funded health insurance. Branstad had originally proposed that employees should contribute 20 percent towards their own health premiums. Watchdog.org. March 7, 2013.

Kansas

  • Deerfield teachers opt out of NEA/KEA. Heartland Institute. July 16, 2013.
  • Gov. Brownback signed the state's "paycheck protection" bill into law on April 1. The law does not allow unions to automatically deduct funds for electioneering from state employee paychecks. Heartland. April 30, 2013.

Louisiana

  • 3800 state employees laid off in last year. Associated Press. July 18, 2013.
  • Public sector union contracts will be on-line at least five days before they are approved. Breitbart. April 11, 2012.

Maryland

  • The Maryland State Education Association's Blatant Money Grab. WorkplaceChoice.org. April 25, 2013.
  • Lawmakers pass bill forcing teachers to pay union fees, bucking right to work trend. Fox News. April 6, 2013.

Massachusetts

  • Evergreen proposal nixed from one bill, filed in another. In October 2010, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that state law (Ch. 150E) is clearly written to "limit the term of a collective bargaining agreement to not more than three years." Evergreen clauses, which provide that all terms of a contract are in force until a new contract is signed, are therefore invalid, the court found. The governor's FY12 supplemental budget bill would amend Chapter 150E to state that a collective bargaining agreement may remain in effect until a new one is reached. The language would make the change retroactive, meaning that many local personnel decisions made since the SJC's ruling could be subject to appeals or grievances following arbitration procedures in previously expired contracts. Massachusetts Municipal Association. October 21, 2011.

Michigan

  • Unions wage court fight against RTW law. Washington Times. July 16, 2013.
  • “At least 145 Michigan school districts signed right-to-work dodging contracts that lock union members into paying dues or fees as a condition of employment” before to the new right-to-work law took effect on March 28.Mackinac Center: Michigan Capitol Confidential. May 28 2013.
  • The SEIU ‘Dues Skim' Finally Ends. Since 2006, the SEIU took $34.4 million from the elderly and disabled in mandatory union dues. Mackinac Center: Michigan Capitol Confidential. April 8, 2013.
  • Law barring collection of school union dues ruled legal. Detroit News. May 9, 2013.
  • As right to work takes root, Michigan Education Association faces rough lessons following Wisconsin's example. MLive.com. May 7, 2013.
  • GOP explores further limits on unions. Detroit News. April 1, 2013.
  • Right-to-work legislation is now in effect. Mackinac Center. March 28, 2013.
  • Michigan becomes 24th Right to Work State. Capital Research Center. December 28, 2012.
  • Voters rejected Proposal 2, a constitutional amendment that would have added the right to collective bargaining for public and private sector employees to the Michigan Constitution. The UAW, teacher unions, and other unions contributed more than $23 million to the Proposal 2 campaign. The unprecedented union initiative was met with equal or greater force and money from pro-business groups, which put about $31 million into two committees aimed at fighting Proposal 2 and other initiatives. Detroit Free Press. November 7, 2012.
  • Voters also rejected Proposal 4, a proposal dealing with home health care and backed by the Service Employees International Union. It would have created a Michigan Quality Home Care Council and required background screening and a registry for home health care workers. But it also would have continued what has been described as a "dues skim" by which the SEIU collects about $6 million a year from the pay of home health care workers, many of whom are caring for family members. Detroit Free Press. November 7, 2012.
  • Digital Debate: Teamster's Hoffa and Amway Heir DeVos: Clash over Unions! CBS Local. October 29, 2012.
  • Effort to recall Gov. Snyder abandoned in wake of Wisconsin recall. For the second time in less than a year, a group has abandoned an effort to recall Gov. Rick Snyder. Detroit Free Press. June 8, 2012.
  • State law prevents graduate research assistants from organizing at public universities in the state. The law says graduate research assistants are students and not employees. Inside Higher Ed. March 21, 2012.
  • Legislature passes legislation to ban automatic payroll deduction for teachers to pay their union dues.MLive.com. March 17, 2012.

Minnesota

  • Childcare providers fight dictate to push childcare business owners into union forced dues ranks. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. June 5, 2013.
  • "The DFL Legislature eked out a major victory for organized labor Monday, giving in-home child-care providers and personal care attendants the right to unionize at a time when union power is in full retreat in many state capitols. The Minnesota House, acting as the last hours of the Legislative session were ticking down, approved the unionization measure by a bare 68-66 majority and sent it to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who is expected to sign it." Star Tribune. May 20, 2013.
  • Home child-care unions bill passes Senate after 17-hour debate. Star Tribune. May 15, 2013.
  • Let the clock run out on day-care union idea. Pioneer Press. May 12, 2013.
  • Reeling elsewhere, labor poised for Minnesota gains. Associated Press. April 24, 2013.
  • Teacher seniority reform bill HB 1870 was presented to and vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton. Minnesota Public Radio. May 3, 2012.

Missouri

  • Governor vetoes paycheck protection. Reuters. June 25, 2013.
  • Legislation to require consent for union member fee collections sent to Governor. Kansas City Star. May 13, 2013.
  • State Supreme Court expands public sector collective bargaining. Court ruled that not only must public bodies like school boards and cities collectively bargain with their employee unions but that bargaining must be done in good faith. News. St. Louis Public Radio. November 20, 2012.

Nebraska

  • Collective bargaining reform passed unanimously on May 25, 2011. The measure essentially creates new operating guidelines for Nebraska's Commission of Industrial Relations, the unusual agency that has been resolving public sector labor disputes in the state since 1947.The bill gives more specific guidelines to the commission for deciding wage disputes. It also requires that pensions and other benefits be considered. When governments don't have the revenue to pay salary increases during bad economic times, the bill contains a provision allowing governments to adjust down the targeted range of compensation. Reuters. May 25, 2011.

Nevada

  • Nevada Policy Research Institute is launching another campaign to encourage teachers to drop their union membership. Las Vegas Sun. June 12, 2013.
  • Public has right to know Nevada public pension expenses. Las Vegas Review Journal. May 7, 2013.
  • Gov. Brian Sandoval and legislative leaders from both parties announced a budget agreement today that willsee tax extensions and restorations of funding to public and higher education in exchange for significant policy reforms in education and collective bargaining. In exchange for extending the sun-setting taxes, Sandoval and Republican lawmakers won a number of reforms, including the elimination of teacher tenure and ending the seniority system used in the public schools for layoffs. Other reforms include the elimination of health care benefits upon retirement for new state hires. The state currently subsidizes health insurance for retirees. The change effective Jan. 1, 2012 will save an estimated $275 million over the next 30 years. There are also reforms to the state's collective bargaining law, including a provision allowing agreements to be reopened in cases of fiscal emergency and eliminating bargaining for supervisory public employees. There will also be a study on how to deal with the $10 billion unfunded liability of the Public Employees' Retirement System. The governor will also get to appoint the superintendent of public instruction. The agreement came on the 115th day of the session, and virtually guarantees that lawmakers will adjourn the 2011 session by June 6 as the constitution requires. Nevada News Bureau. June 2, 2011.

New Hampshire

  • Bill would require Fiscal Committee to vote on union contracts before they took effect. Associated Press. May 26, 2013.
  • Collective bargaining veto override defeated in House. New Hampshire Union Leader. June 27, 2012.
  • Gov. Lynch vetoed a bill giving lawmakers greater oversight over collective bargaining contracts with states employees. New Hampshire Union Leader. June 20, 2012.

New Jersey

  • How unions fared under Gov. Christie. Trentonian. July 21, 2013
  • Sweeping teacher's tenure bill passes legislature, heads to Governor. Star-Ledger. June 25, 2012.
  • What public employees are doing to our country. William McGurn speaks on the New Jersey example.Imprimis. March 2012.
  • Government employees sue over benefit changes. Star-Ledger.August 31, 2011.
  • Lawmakers on June 24 voted to enact a sweeping plan to cut public worker benefits. Unions have blasted the bill for ending their ability to collectively bargain their medical benefits. Health care plans for 500,000 public workers would be set by a new state panel comprised of union workers and state managers, rather than at the negotiating table. A sunset provision would allow unions to resume collective bargaining after increased health care contributions are phased in over four years. In addition, police officers, firefighters, teachers and rank-and-file public workers would all pay more for their pensions and health benefits. Supporters of the bill say the state needs to cut costs because the pension and health systems are underfunded by more than $120 billion total. The Christie administration estimated the bill would save $3 billion in health benefits over the next 10 years and $120 billion in pension costs over 30 years. Much of the pension savings are from the controversial elimination of the cost-of-living adjustments for retirees, which unions have threatened to challenge in court. Since 2004, the state has not made $15.11 billion in required payments to the pension funds, while the municipalities have skipped $1.9 billion. Public employees, meanwhile, have fully paid their required contributions. Star-Ledger. June 24, 2011.

New Mexico

  • State Supreme Court orders back pay for state workers because former Gov. Richardson didn’t follow union contracts in distributing money provided by the legislature. Santa Fe New Mexican. May 30, 2013.

New York

  • Building Trade Unions Split with Public-Sector Unions. AllGov.com. June 9, 2012.
  • "Even as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sent layoff notices to the first of 3,496 employees he is vowing to let go, leaders of New York's second-largest union of state workers said Wednesday that they did not intend to ask their members to reconsider the proposed contract they had rejected." New York Times. September 28, 2011.
  • "New York labor leaders, spooked by public workers' rejection of negotiated concessions in Connecticut, are beginning a carefully planned campaign to persuade more than 100,000 state employees to accept a wage freeze and other measures in order to avoid sweeping layoffs. The state's largest union of public workers, the Civil Service Employees Association, has sent contract negotiators across the state as part of an effort to persuade health care, maintenance and clerical workers that it would be better to stomach furloughs, benefit cuts and three years without a salary increase than to risk losing thousands of jobs as the state cuts costs."New York Times. July 17, 2011.

North Carolina

  • "The legislature is poised to curtail civil service protections for state employees, giving preliminary approval to a bill pushed by Gov. Pat McCrory. House lawmakers voted 110-5 to remake the grievance procedures for about 90,000 state workers, moving the key link in the appeal process from the hands of an independent administrative law judge to hearing officers named by political appointees of the governor. The House is expected to give its final approval Wednesday, sending the bill to the Senate. At the same time, the bill would increase the number of political hires - positions exempt from the civil service protections of the State Personnel Act to 1,500. Six months ago there were just 400." News & Observer. May 14, 2013.

Ohio

  • Senate kills right to work bill. Cleveland Plain Dealer. May 1, 2013.
  • Legislation would ban requiring workers to join or pay automatic dues to a union. Associated Press. April 30, 2013.
  • Collective bargaining reform can save jobs. Buckeye Institute. May 22, 2012.

Oklahoma

  • Legislature passed and sent to Governor, HB 1380 which ends the "trial de novo" process Republicans believe has impaired the ability of public school districts to fire poorly performing educators. The legislation will provide for a "fuller hearing in front of the local school board," but end the option for direct appeals to district courts.CapitolBeatOK.com. April 2, 2011.
  • Legislature passes bill to repeal the Municipal Employees Collective Bargaining Act, a law approved in 2004 that requires Oklahoma cities with more than 35,000 residents to collectively bargain with their employees. If approved, cities would have the option of whether to collectively bargain. Washington Examiner. April 20, 2011.

Oregon

  • SEIU and ASCME reach agreement with state, strike adverted. Associated Press and Statesman Journal.July 18, 2013.
  • State workers could strike soon. KMTR. June 27, 2013.
  • SEIU union declares impasse in state labor negotiations. Statesman Journal. June 11, 2013.
  • Senate requires prevailing wages for construction projects on college campuses. Oregonian. May 14, 2013.
  • For the first time, a public employee union struck a tentative two-year contract agreement with state government requiring workers to pay part of the cost of their health insurance premiums. Following an all-night bargaining session, Ken Allen, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75, said on July 19 that his team agreed to a deal requiring 3,500 workers at more than 20 state agencies to pay 5 percent of their monthly premiums, beginning next year. Costs would be offset somewhat by a $30 monthly subsidy to workers who earn less than $32,352 a year. Oregon's public employees have staunchly resisted any erosion of their fully paid health benefits. But the recession-beleaguered state budget coupled with dramatic increases in the cost of health care led Gov. John Kitzhaber to push for the change. The agreement announced is likely to be the first of several labor agreements breaking that wall. The state's largest public employee union, the Service Employees International Union Local 503, may be close to a similar agreement on sharing health premium costs. But the SEIU, representing 23,000 state and university employees, wants more highly paid managers to pay more than line workers. Oregonian. July 19, 2011.

Pennsylvania

  • Government Unions' Grip on Pennsylvanians. Commonwealth Foundation. March 5, 2012.
  • "The state's largest public employee union has a new four-year contract guaranteeing pay increases in three of the next four years. Unlike other first-term Republican governors, Gov. Tom Corbett did not take a hard-line stance with public sector unions, agreeing to a new contract quickly and quietly while most of the state's attention was focused on the budget process at the end of June... The contract includes a 4 percent base pay increase during the next four years and 6.75 percent increases based on the experience and seniority for workers who have been in the union between one and 20 years. Depending on seniority and position, unionized workers could earn a 10.75 percent pay raise during the course of the next four years in a series of smaller annual increases. Health-care contributions for union workers will rise from 3 percent to 5 percent in the fourth and final year of the contract. Even with those contributions, the average unionized state worker will have to pay about $150 per month for a comprehensive family health plan...In the private sector, the average is $333 per month, according to the Kaiser Family Institute, a nonprofit health-care research center."Pocono Record. July 25, 2011.

Rhode Island

  • State could save $250 million by banning collective bargaining. GoLocalProv.com. January 31, 2012.
  • Collective bargaining reform could save RI $252 million per year. Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity. January 26, 2012.

South Carolina

  • State becomes 17th state to ban government-mandated project labor agreements on taxpayers funded projects. The Truth About Project Labor Agreements (blog). June 11, 2013.

Tennessee

  • A compromise plan that reduces unions' role in representing teachers passed the state legislature on May 20, as lawmakers moved toward resolving a three-month debate on the eve of the end of session. The compromise will let the Tennessee Education Association continue to represent teachers in contract talks with local school boards. But the bill would place other organizations at the bargaining table, and it would set new limits on what could be written into final agreements. The legislation rewrites the rules that have shaped the employment contracts between teachers and school boards for more than three decades. But it does so without cutting teachers unions out of the process entirely, a situation that probably will leave the 52,000-member TEA as the dominant representative of teachers in the state. The Senate approved the compromise in a 19-12 vote early Friday evening. After 11 p.m., the House voted for the measure 55-40, sending it to Gov. Bill Haslam for his signature. About 250 union members packed galleries to watch the final vote in the House, waving their hands to show support for opponents of the bill without interrupting the debate. Scores more filled the Capitol rotunda to watch the vote on closed-circuit television, their cheers occasionally audible though the heavy doors to the House chamber were shut. Tennessean.com. May 21, 2011.

Texas

  • The Texas Supreme Court ruled that "Unionized government workers in Texas - including firefighters, police and teachers - don't have the right to be accompanied by a union representative while being questioned during internal investigations." Private sector employees and federal government employees who are union members have this right; the Texas Supreme Court held that state law doesn't extend this right to employees for state, county, city or other local government in Texas. Burnt Orange Report. April 9, 2013.

Washington

  • Teacher union staff strife. "‘Staffing has decreased significantly over the past 4 years and on August 30, 2013, an additional 27 staff members will retire leaving the organization without the ability to
    continue the necessary work,' reads the flyer. ‘WEA does not plan to fill those positions with permanent employees which is a violation of the negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement.'" EIA Online: Intercepts. May 15, 2013.
  • State agrees to unsustainable contract with state employees. Deal would give back 3 percent salary cut.Olympian. September 16, 2012.
  • After having championed school reform, Washington State's governor, Christine Gregoire, is now doubling back on that idea and threatening to veto a bill that would end the state's "last hired, first fired" rule for teachers. According to the Seattle Times, "the bill headed to the governor's desk would allow districts undertaking layoffs to first choose teachers who received the lowest average ratings during their two latest evaluations." The 82,000-strong teachers union opposes the measure and recently hosted Gregoire at a convention. In 2002, the state's AFSCME affiliate and other unions persuaded the new Democratic majority in the state legislature to lift restrictions on collective bargaining. In the span of three years, the number of union members and the amount of union dollars flowing into the coffers of Democrats running in state elections doubled. A prime beneficiary was Christine Gregoire, who became governor in 2004 after one of the closest elections in the state's history. (AFSCME gave a quarter million dollars to the state Democratic party to help pay for the recount that won her the election). Once in office, Gregoire negotiated contracts that resulted in double-digit salary increases for thousands of state employees. In 2008, Gregoire won again this time by 194,614 votes. Public Sector Inc. May 17, 2011.

Wisconsin

  • Prison guards vote to leave State Employees Union. LaCrosse Tribune. July 18, 2013.
  • Governor’s reforms to save Milwaukee taxpayers $110 million/year by 2020. Wisconsin Reporter. July 18, 2013.
  • State Supreme Court to hear Act 10 collective bargaining case. TMJ-4. June 14, 2013.
  • Police union says Democrat proposal on collective bargaining is retaliation. Wisconsin Reporter. May 23, 2013.
  • Legislature approved a measure to prohibit full time or nearly full-time employees from collection a pension, known as "double dipping."Retirees who want to return to public employment would have to wait 75 days, up from 30 days. Retirees who return to public employment and work more than 1,392 hours a year wouldn't be allowed to collect a pension from the Wisconsin Retirement System. Fond du Lac Reporter. May 22, 2013.
  • Unions ask court to block collective bargaining reforms. Washington Examiner. April 23, 2013.
  • The executive director of the Wisconsin Education Association Council announced he will step down in July.The organization laid off 40 percent of its staff after the state's new collective bargaining rules took effect. The organization lost about 30 to 35 percent of its membership in most school districts after the state's new collective bargaining rules made annual dues optional and drove several teachers to retire. Wisconsin State Journal. April 15, 2013.
  • Union membership plunging as workers exercise new rights. According to Labor Department data, membership at Wisconsin's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40 -- one of AFSCME's four branches in the state -- has gone from the 31,730 it reported in 2011, to 29,777 in 2012, to just 20,488 now. That's a drop of more than 11,000 -- about a third -- in just two years. The council represents city and county employees outside of Milwaukee County and child care workers across Wisconsin. The drop was even starker for Wisconsin's AFSCME Council 48, which represents city and county workers in Milwaukee County. It went from 9,043 members in 2011, to 6,046 in 2012, to just 3,498 now. Washington Examiner. April 9, 2013.
  • Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans have been validated by a federal appeals court. A district judge had earlier blocked some of Act 10′s provisions, but the appellate panel overturned that ruling and determined the entire law was okay. The Inquisitr. January 22, 2013.
  • When Republican candidates moved to seize control of Wisconsin's Legislature and the governor's seat in fall 2010, the political action committee of the state's largest teachers union spent nearly $1.6 million to support Democrats. During this fall's election, the Wisconsin Education Association Council's PAC totaled a mere $1,374 in independent expenditures for candidates, according to figures from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Traditional collective bargaining is now a thing of the past at most locals; a third of WPAC's membership is gone, its revenue diminished and its staff is downsized. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. November 23, 2012.
  • Milwaukee teachers could have saved city schools themselves. In April, the MTEA overwhelmingly rejected a plan that asked teachers to give back five day's pay to help the school system reduce the size of its overcrowded classrooms. Wisconsin Reporter. June 18, 2012.
  • Election puts labor unions on the ropes. Washington Examiner. June 6, 2012.
  • Wisconsin's Act 10: A Partial Fix for the State Budget Deficit. Heartland. May 2012.
  • Public employee unions in Wisconsin have experienced a dramatic drop in membership - by more than half for the second-biggest union - since the new collective bargaining law went into effect. Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees-the state's second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers-fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a person who has viewed AFSCME's figures. A spokesman for AFSCME declined to comment. Much of that decline came from AFSCME Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year. Wall Street Journal. May 30, 2012.
  • The Impact of Act 10 on Public Sector Compensation in Wisconsin. We find that state and local government employees receive salaries roughly equal to those paid to private sector Wisconsin employees with similar education and experience or working in jobs with similar skill requirements. However, even following Act 10, pension benefits for Wisconsin public employees are roughly 4.5 times more valuable than private sector levels while health benefits are about twice as generous as those paid by larger private sector Wisconsin employers. This difference results in a combined salary-benefits compensation premium of around 22 percent for state workers over private sector workers, with varying but often larger pay advantages for local government employees. American Enterprise Institute. May 30, 2012.
  • Analysis finds Wisconsin's Act 10 saving taxpayers big. Wisconsin Reporter. May 22, 2012.
  • State data supports Governor Walker's claim of job gains. Daily Caller. May 16, 2012.
  • Gov. Walker received almost as many votes as all the Democrat opponents combined. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. May 9, 2012.
  • Milwaukee Mayor Barrett, who won Democrat primary to challenge Gov. Walker, actually used the Walker collective bargaining reforms to balance Milwaukee's budget. Salon.com. May 8, 2012.
  • Gov. Walker says collective bargaining reforms saved taxpayers $1 billion. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. April 23, 2012.
  • Milwaukee Public School System (MPS) and Milwaukee Teachers Education Association (MTEA) asklegislature for ability to explore implementing some of the collective bargaining reforms that were signed into law last year. Specifically, MTEA asked the legislature to pass legislation that would enable them to renegotiate their contract and ask their members to contribute a little bit more toward their pensions and healthcare in order to save jobs. Allowing the MTEA to open up their contract would enable the District to capture the savings that districts and local governments across the state were able to realize after the passage of Act 10. Governor Scott Walker. March 16, 2012.
  • Collective bargaining reforms saved Wisconsin schools millions. Because of these reforms, just the ten school districts that saved the most this fiscal year together saved $85.6 million, according to figures from the MacIver Institute. Heartland. March 13, 2012.
  • Who's progressive in Wisconsin? Washington Post. February 6, 2012.
  • Membership in organized labor unions dropped last year in Wisconsin by 16,000, according to the latest datafrom the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That left 13.3 percent of the employed population - 339,000 workers - represented by unions, down from 14.2 percent in 2010. Quincy Journal. February 3, 2012.
  • Organizers file more than one million signatures to recall Gov. Walker. Signatures were also filed to recall Lt. Gov. Kleefish, Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and three other Senators. Wisconsin State Journal. January 18, 2012.
  • Six state employee unions win recertification elections. Under the new state law that removed most public employee union rights, recertification is required before unions can negotiate, and then the only allowable issue on the table is cost-of-living wage increases - pegged at 2.01 percent for 2012 by the state revenue department. Benefits or working conditions are not subject to bargaining. Without certification, no collective bargaining is allowed on any matter. Wisconsin State Journal. November 17, 2011.
  • Lawmakers approve pay freeze for two years and tighter rules on overtime. Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. November 17, 2011.
  • The state is no longer required to bargain with largest public unions. Wisconsin State Journal. September 23, 2011.
  • Wisconsin reforms are already working. National Review Online. August 11, 2011. Wisconsin reforms included:
    • Teachers will no longer have their dues deducted automatically from their paychecks.
    • Collective bargaining is restricted to wages only, limited to increases in the consumer Price Index unless voters pass a referendum approving a larger increase.
    • Collective bargaining no longer extends to pensions and benefits.
    • Unions must hold annual membership votes to earn the right to represent their members.
    • Permits performance pay for teachers.
    • Allows competitive bidding for employee health insurance on the open market.

Background: Most government sector unions would not exist without forced union dues. Government unions fight allowing workers the choice to join or not join a union. They only survive by a dreadful anti-worker provision in state laws called "union security." Note the term is "union security" not worker security. The union security clause allows unions to force government employees to pay for the union's services as a condition of employment. If you want a government job you have to pay tribute to the union. And the union has no trouble in firing workers who don't toe their line. No one should be forced to join a government union against their will. The heavily unionized government worker states - i.e. California; Illinois; New Jersey and New York have the largest unfunded liabilities (pensions; retiree health care, etc). As Michael Barone has stated, government sector collective bargaining increase the cost of government and reduces the accountability of public employees. Further those states with the highest percentage of unionized government workers have the largest unfunded pension and retiree health care liabilities. There are no studies that show that government workers in unionize states provide better services than those in nonunionized states.

In Wisconsin teachers violated their contract by abandoning their classrooms; doctors wrote phony medical excuses; Democrat legislators fled the state to avoid the legislature voting on the proposals. Federal workers have fewer bargaining rights than those proposed by Governor Walker. The purpose of private-sector unions is to get workers a larger share of the profits they helped create. If there are no profits, the union workers jobs are in danger. However, government has no bottom line- no profit or loss. State and local employees in 28 states are required to pay full union dues or get fired. Using this government coercion, government-sector unions have amassed large financial resources that they use to campaign for higher taxes and higher pay for government workers and to elect pubic officials who will support their agenda.