I hear common criticisms of public-sector unions, usually from the uninformed but opinionated, who are satisfied criticizing things they don’t understand. To each their own, I guess.
That would be fine except these critics vote.
One commonly held myth remains: Unions are obsolete now.
Well public employees don’t get flogged and aren’t forced to work 12 hour days in buildings without heat or clean water for less than minimum wage. Luckily those are not the only standards to judge the merit of unions.
Other realities exist that prove the need for public collective bargaining. In a system in which the triumph of politics is guaranteed (and not one of merit and accomplishment), what type of bureaucratic government should our state have?
Should we hire and promote those who campaign or donate money? Should salary and benefits be determined by politicians, throwing those with different affiliations to the wolves? How about determining which citizens qualify for what services? Should that be a political party decision?
How intensely do we want our state capital to become a political Wall Street where politicians trade government services for the benefit of their personal accounts?
What is truly best for taxpayers and its citizen employees? Imperfect though it is, every modern governor has established hiring and promotion guidelines through collective bargaining. The Illinois reputation for political corruption and the concentration of power is not exaggerated. Shutdown unions and imagine what follows!
Illinois, perhaps more than any other state, needs public sector unions.
Ironically the entire political philosophy behind the American Revolution shows the powerless opposing the powerful to end the bullying. As individual citizens, American patriots could not have withstood the onslaught of the conservative loyalists and the British army. Instead, they joined together, believed
their only hope was to become a single entity, one group, and formed "a more perfect union."
Similarly, Americans have done the same thing with its workforce. Faced with the overwhelming authority and power of the capitalist/political class, American workers bonded together and declared: "We insist on having some influence on who gets hired and promoted, and how we are to be treated."
The formation of unions is a carbon copy process of the American Revolution. In that sense it is correct to say "being All-American means being all-Union."
It also means strengthening public-sector unions is best for Illinois.
— C.S. Stahlman,Springfield