Illinois Policy Talks About What Janus v AFSCME Means

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute

The Annie Frey Show
June 28, 2018 - 3:29 pm

AF: Mailee Smith joins us from the Illinois policy Institute to react to that right now Mailee. Thanks joining us.

MS: Yeah, thank you for having me

AF: What a win for the state of Illinois specifically, but it's it has a much further reach than just the public workers in the state of Illinois. What do you think about it?

MS: That's right. It reaches work public workers in 22 States 5 million nationwide and almost 400,000 here. So, you know, this is a huge win for those government workers because they finally have a voice. Like Mark Janus was saying you don't keep it shouldn't be forced to give up their rights just because they choose to be public servants and the Supreme Court agreed. It's unconstitutional, it violates Free Speech the force is government workers pay a fee to the union.

AF: You know I've got some pushback since we talked about this yesterday. Certainly there's a lot of people who are just very passionate about supporting their Union being involved in the union. There's a lot of private Union support. There's a lot of public unions support. This is there's a little bit of a difference here in how the public Union is looked at because a lot of times where those public Union dollars are spent is with politicians who can then pass legislation that spends tax dollars. What is the danger of of that relationship money that is taken out of a paycheck weather, but the employee likes it or not and then you know how it goes up the ladder into the union coffers and then what happens next?

MS: You're right. There is a definite difference between private unions and public sector unions, in this case. And as Mark Janus was arguing its because everything a public sector Union does is political. If they are arguing for increase wages that's a public policy issue if they are arguing against any sort of pension changes in the state of Illinois. a public policy issue Anything that they do even with negotiating is affect public policy and makes it political and then there is that added element that they are inextricably tied to politics through their giving you their spending they spend millions and millions every year on politics and in fact some unions like AFSCME the National Education Association Actually have been known to spend more on politics, then they do on representing the worker.

AF: Yeah, that's frustrating when I was looking up just quickly yesterday trying to do some research. I looked up the NEA so it's not specific to state union. But when I looked up the NEA it said in 2016, they spent about $350,000 on Republicans and 2.8 million dollars on Democrats. So it's not like there's any comparison or any level investment that is there there certainly is a benefit for one particular party and one particular kind of policy.

MS: And that's typical of unions if you look more locally at AFSCME Council 31 the state-level AFSCME affiliate in Illinois. In The Last 5 Years From 2013 to 2017 Directed over 6.8 million dollars to elections Matthias and of that. 74% was directed towards democratic committes or organizations party over the other.

AF: So what is the what is this mean now? So if you're If you're at let's just you don't say specifically in the state of Illinois, if you're a public worker, you've never really been a fan of that money coming out of your paycheck, you've always been a little bit disgusted by where that money goes, but maybe you still also see some of the benefits that come along with being a part of the Union when it comes to collective bargaining or representation. What have you what kind of options do these union workers now have?

MS: Well the option if you stay in your union and you continue paying the dues or You opt out of your union and you don't pay any dues at all now. The Supreme Court's decision made clear that this should be an opt-in process employee should not be automatically enrolled in these Unions they should have the opportunity to up in but in the meantime, we are encouraging workers to do if they would like to make sure that those dudes are those thieves stop.It's a go ahead and do two things. Let the union know that they are opting out of the Union and two let their employer know that they no longer want those dudes are fees taken from their paycheck.

AF: Yeah, well we were going to continue going to continue to follow this and and get the the information as it unfolds because obviously The ruling yesterday is the beginning of what's going to happen next in a wonderful resource for people as they filed us? Thank you so much for coming on with us today Miley.

MS: Thank you for having me you bet.