CHICAGO - A new book on the problems government employee unions impose upon state budgets was released Thursday by the Illinois Policy Institute. The Labor Book: A guide to Illinois government unions is available online, and warns that until political influence of government unions is curbed, Illinois will be unable to enact major pension reforms.
"Union bosses may think that by blocking reform that they are advancing their cause," Paul Kersey, director of labor policy at the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute and the book's author said. "But the reality is that union bosses' tactics are driving Illinois into insolvency and ultimately will hurt the unions' own members."
Research for The Labor Book found:
- At least 90 employees of the Illinois Education Association – union staff, not classroom teachers – are paid more than $100,000/year.
- Among the top beneficiaries of union political giving between 2002 and 2012 are: Gov. Pat Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Speaker of the House Mike Madigan and House Republican Leader Tom Cross.
- The Illinois branch of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, in 2011 reported spending more than 70 percent of its $2.5 million on politics and lobbying – and just 8.2 percent on actual membership representation.
- In Illinois, government workers are forced to financially support government unions as a condition of employment. Workers must pay expensive union dues or "agency fees" whether or not they want to financially support the union.
The Labor Book is available HERE.