Downtown Chicago security officers rallied for a pay increase Tuesday, a week before their first day of bargaining with the Building Owners and Managers Association for a new union contract. Progress Illinois was there for the rally, held at the Thompson Center.
On the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Illinois religious leaders urged Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature on Monday to resolve state employee contract negotiations in a "peaceful manner."
Monday marks 48 years since King was killed in Memphis, where he was supporting striking sanitation workers represented by AFSCME.
The Rev. Robert Jones of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side joined other faith leaders and state workers, represented by AFSCME Council 31 and SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, during a Monday morning press conference organized by Arise Chicago.
"We come together today because Dr. King's message of what government should be continues to resonate. We want Illinois to be a place where no one is left behind," Jones said at the Chicago Temple building. "We want Illinois to be a place where service providers are not demonized but cherished for their sacrifices that they make and respected for the professional services that they provide. This is the kind of Illinois that we want."
The Supreme Court's 4-4 split decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which was issued today, upholds a lower court decision that permits public employee unions to assess fees on non-members who benefit from collective bargaining and union representation. The decision is a victory for working people, whose rights are protected by strong unions even if they themselves are not in a union.
It is also a reminder about the importance of the president's choice of the next Supreme Court justice, since the 4-4 split guarantees that another case attacking union security agreements will find its way to the Court before long.
The Chicago Teachers Union is pushing back against Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool's assertion that the planned April 1 teacher walkout is "illegal."
The teachers union's House of Delegates voted to approve the walkout Wednesday evening, solidifying plans for Chicago public school educators to hold a one-day strike next week. But Claypool called the walkout illegal at Wednesday's Chicago Board of Education meeting, hours before the union voted on the proposed action against unfair labor practices.
"In January we reached a tentative new labor contract with CTU leadership, so we believe that a final contract can be reached if both parties continue to negotiate in good faith," said Claypool. "But rather than focusing on reaching an agreement, it is disappointing to see CTU's leadership promoting this illegal strike that would take a critical day of instruction away from our students, to say nothing of encouraging teachers to break the law."
U.S. workers have seen their share of corporate income for compensation drop from 82 percent to 75 percent since 2000, shows a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
A 7-point decrease "might not seem like a lot, but if labor's share had not fallen this much, employees in the corporate sector would have $535 billion more in their paychecks today," EPI's research and policy director Josh Bivens said in a paper on the findings.
That money would work out to be a $3,770 raise for each U.S. worker if all working Americans, not just those employed in the corporate sector, got a slice of the pie.