Illinois amendment would give unions a veto over state government
Illinois will never top a list of effective or honest governments. But a referendum proposal on the November ballot could put the state government on an entirely new list, all by itself: irrelevant.
How so? The proposed amendment would make it impossible for Illinois to become a right-to-work state (meaning, union membership cannot be a condition of employment). Unions, naturally, dislike right-to-work laws like vampires hate sunshine. But the Illinois measure goes beyond giving unions a shield against the open shop. It could also give public employee unions veto power over state labor law, and a lot more. As Scott Shackford writes:
Constitutional Amendment 11…bars any law that “interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and workplace safety.”
This seemingly innocuous collection of conditions will have some serious repercussions when it comes to reining in misconduct by unionized public sector employees. Any law that regulates the behavior of Illinois police officers, schoolteachers, or trash collectors could be upended by a union contract.
Disciplinary procedures for public sector employees are already heavily manipulated via collective bargaining agreements, which is why it’s so hard to get rid of bad teachers and cops. Still, a law could flat out order the termination or forbid the hiring of public employees who engage in certain behaviors. Yet under this amendment, that law would be subject to veto by collective bargaining. Background checks? Officer certification and decertification? Bans on police chokeholds? All could be subjected to review on the basis of it being a “condition of employment.”
It’s a sure way to make unions happy – at the expense of every other state resident. Permanently.