Rauner eliminates ‘fair share’ union dues for state workers

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Gov. Bruce Rauner stepped up his campaign against government employee unions by eliminating so-called "fair share" dues paid by workers who don't join a union.

The Republican said Monday he has signed an executive order erasing what he says is a "critical cog in the corrupt bargain crushing taxpayers." He says forcing non-union employees to pay union dues requires them to fund political activity they don't agree with.

He says he took action after a U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year that found the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act violated the First Amendment by mandating involuntary union dues.

Rauner has called for ending political contributions by unions.

Rauner's executive order has no effect on those who wish to remain in unions.

Reaction from the unions has been succinct and severe.

SEIU Cocal 73 president Christine Boardman said, “Governor Rauner`s Executive Order today showed his true colors: a man whose top priority is to ruin the lives of working families in Illinois."

AFSCME Council 31 executive director Roberta Lynch said in part, “Bruce Rauner`s scheme to strip the rights of state workers and weaken their unions by executive order is a blatantly illegal abuse of power.”

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  • Michael Wilbur

    Thank God a Governor looking after the people of the state of Illinois he’s the first since Governor Edgar please make us,a right to work state

    • Don Galivan

      Yes, please Mr. Rauner bring us back into the dark ages. Roll back the minimum wage, eliminate child labor laws. Meanwhile, he pays his staff more than any other governor ever has. And his wife for some reason needs a chief of staff that pulls in a 100 grand. Yeah, this Rauner is a real reformer.

    • Chuck

      Just another union hater cause don’t have the smarts to join one, might as well give back your weekends, 40 hour work week, or maybe you enjoy just working for nothing. You truly are your worst enemy or just simply stupid!

  • Diane

    My son was a victim of the Unions fair share dues. For 15 years he had monies taken from his wages and given to candidate he never supported. He had to ask in writing that his dues not be spend on partisan politics. There was a little intimidation involved and he stopped making the request.

    Years ago the unions had to ask a member before forced contributions, Todays Unions have the right to make all decisions unless a member gives written notice to cease the withdrawals. I applaud Governor Rauner for this action

    • ProU

      You are highly mistaken. Unions cannot make any political endorsements with union dues. Rauners statement is downright false.
      Before stating false information, I would suggest educating yourself as well as others around you about the effect unions have on workers, and what their dues actually go towards, such as lawyers, staff to represent members who have been wrongfully disciplined, securing pensions and back pay, etc.

      • Diane

        I will also state AGAIN that UNION political campaign literature came into my home. And yes it endorsed certain candidates and was stamped CFCW #xx A Voice for Working America.
        And yes my son had ME proofread the letter that was that was sent to the OAK Brook office in order to redirect his funds to the expenditures PRAU stated above.

        Sorry Prou and Chucy. No false Brian Williams memories here on this topic since it was a prime topic at dinner. And Rauner is only protecting state employees. the unions still have a grip on the average worker.

      • Bob Saffel

        Paul, how are the taxpayers the victims of pension cost? I worked for the state for over 22 years, and every payday I and the other workers paid 8% to 11% of our wages into our pension found. The last three governors not only refused to put in the states share, but went so far as to steel the money we put in and pay it out to their party buddies. In fact just three years ago you buddy Rauner was given $50,000,000.00 from OUR PENSION FUND, and I don’t see your stand up guy saying anything about putting it back.

    • Jo

      No one is forced to the join the union. It’s called the Taft-Hartley Act and it has been around for over 60 years. However, you also should not expect something for nothing. That’s something my mother taught me growing up. If you don’t want to pay your share of the cost of negotiating and maintaining those wages then tell your employer you don’t want to take part in the benefits and negotiate your own salary and benefits. Was your son also a VICTIM of the wages and benefits the union negotiated for the workers? How is this going to help the state financially?

    • Kim

      Obviously you have no knowledge of the federal law that states that union dues of public employees cannot be used in political campaigns, there must be a seperate and voluntary fund for that. And yes, I am a proud AFSCME member and retiree and I’ve upped my PEOPLE(Public Employees Organized to Promote Legislative Equality) from $8 to $30 a month. Oh, by the way, you did notice that instead of using the state’s attorney to fight lawsuits on this, Bruce Ruiner hired one of his cronie friend’s lawfirms…which will cost much much more in billable hours–and before you talk about Lisa Madigan, remember how many lawsuits her office has won for the people of Illinois.

    • Jen

      I suspect that your son was not a “victim” of union fair share – your son was a victim of his own inability to understand the difference between his fair share contributions and PEOPLE PAC contributions. Union dues (and fair share contributions) cannot be used for political contributions. PEOPLE PAC contributions are 100% voluntary – it seems as if he didn’t understand what the deductions on his paychecks were for 15 years. Additionally, if anyone has any objections to paying union dues or fair share there are clauses in most contracts that enable those people to donate the equivalent dollar amount of fair share to any of a number of 501(c)(3) charities instead. You only have to provide proof that you are doing so. Fair share members get the same exact benefits as union members with the exception of having the right to vote on union issues. When negotiations happen, the union negotiates for EVERY worker – union or fair share. Fair share members are NOT excluded from any employment benefits. Yes, if you belong to a union you will receive literature in the mail regarding which candidates your union is supporting. Chances are that you also receive literature from all of the candidates in your district, however.

    • ProU

      Union members can voluntarily contribute to to a separate fund that goes towards political endorsement and campaigning, but members union dues DO NOT go towards political campaigning. It is illegal.
      Your sons union dues went to fighting for wrongful discharges and disciplines, paper to distribute local newsletters, stamps to mail grievances, court fees to fight back wage claims and pensions reform laws, arbitration and office supplies and SO many other important areas to give us the power to stand up against unfair treatment.

      If you do not like unions, please, feel free to giveback seniority, child labor laws, health benefits, the 40 hour work week, overtime pay, and every other benefit you are priviledged enough to have because unions were there to fight for all of those.

    • JoeK

      You don’t want to pay union dues? Fine. But you also don’t get the union benefits that the union bargained for on your behalf. Go to your boss and beg on your knees all alone. I hope they take all benefits away from these non dues paying folks too. That will save the state all kinds of money! The begining of the labor movement must have happened SO LONG AGO that no one remembers what it was. Ya know, back when people DIED at work and you were throw to the side and someone just took your place. People fought and died to give the worker rights. Now you want to give them up, what kind of stupid is that?

  • Joe McRae

    Unions have there good and bad points. I don’t agree with everything my union does, but consider this before you call for a right to work state. Do you want to work for minimum wage? Do you want to lose your benefits? Do you want to work two jobs just to pay your rent and put food on the table? That is what I seen after a Governor made Florida a right to work state. If you don’t think it won’t happen here, you are sadly mistaken.

    • Sam

      I moved here from Florida, and it functions a lot better than Illinois. They even have a budget surplus down there. People who get educated and work hard earn more than enough money to live comfortably.

  • Michael

    Rauner also needs to end all contributions from Corporations! Those contributions buy votes on bills that are in favor of big business. This is a bigger problem than union dues!

  • Robert Pritchard

    All of you Right To Work For Less folks must ask yourself, can your family flourish on a $12.00 per hour wage with out benefits? Will Rauner and his Vulture Capitalist friends be the first to foreclose on all you now own? We can’t have it both ways!! THINK!!

    • JoeK

      These people don’t understand that you drop your dues now and eventually the ripple effect will leave them in poverty. They think they’re saving a few bucks and everything will be the same. NO. You drop your unions rights and SLOWLY big business will lower your pay and benefits more and more and there is nothing you can do about it. NOTHING.

  • Robert J. Grace

    I wonder, does everybody in a corporation want the same congressman/woman? And if corporations do give to a champaign, is it done in the corporate name? Or is it donated thru other means by the corporation?

  • Me

    I pay $29.00 fair share every 2 weeks. Nobody from the union offered me an application, nobody sent an email or called me. Our union recently signed the contract. Nobody informed me in any way what was the contract about. They just sent the flyer how wonderful the contract is. Do they deserve my $58.00 every month? Not for that service. I do not exist for my union. Now I will rather put that $58.00 in my IRA. Unions have to change or they will loose people like me and my friends that are treated the same way.

  • Fishman

    Quinn still has not called the New Governor. Technically he still has not conceded. No CLASS!!!! That is what was running our State. Show some Dignity Man.

  • ProU

    So since I didn’t vote for Bruce Rauner, does that mean I don’t have to pay taxes??

    Same concept for fair share people. You should. If you are being represented, you should be contributing to that

  • Sam

    Do these Union crazies know that life exists outside of their twisted view of the world? I moved here from an extremely non-union state that functions way more effectively than Illinois – they even have a budget surplus there. I am glad to see that Rauner is making changes that this state definitely needs.

    • JoeK

      Florida is full of retirees who retired from good UNION jobs in other states with fantastic pensions. That’s why it hasn’t sank into the ocean and there is a surplus. Don’t kid yourself.

  • Rich

    I’m sure that the unions aren’t funneling money from their dues to their PAC funds, because there’s ABSOLUTELY no corruption in the unions.

  • Pickled Marvin

    How funny it is to hear the leftists call foul when a leader uses an Executive Order to do something they don’t like. Since they defended the illegal orders of Obama the Dictator, they can now go pound sand.

  • sweetolbob

    Not only pay for political action they don’t agree with, but the unions aim is to have non members pay for their perks like limos and power lunches, vacations (call them union meetings in Hawaii) and anything they can crowd on to their expense account.
    We’ve seen it happen, A local is out on a long strike and the committeemen and all the big shots are meeting for a week long conference with hula girls.

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