Illinois Unions

Labor unions are attacking Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for several vetoes issues late last week. The Republican governor rejected measures that would have raised wages for state contractors that take care of the elderly and disabled.

As they grow their reach in the state, ride-sharing companies are bringing transportation and jobs to underserved neighborhoods in some Illinois cities. 

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner and state employees have yet to reach an agreement for contracts. Union members gathered in Springfield on Tuesday to protest what they say are unfair proposals from the governor.

After more than six months of negotiating, an agreement has yet to be reached for state union contacts, which are scheduled to end June 30.

Jennifer Desulis works for the Illinois Department of Revenue and has been a union member for 16 years.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, continuing debate among lawmakers over how to fix the state's budget woes, a Senate plan to sweep special funds into the general revenue fund for FY2015, and Governor Rauner continues to push for "right to work zones".

Outside the U.S. Supreme Court, Flora Johnson, chairwoman of Executive Board of SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, in January answers questions about Harris v. Quinn.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana

Editor's Note 2/10/2015: Since the original publication of this article, the U.S. Supreme ruled in favor of Pam Harris, who is paid through the Medicaid program to care for her disabled son at home. The opinion categorized some home caregivers as “partial public employees,” whom the court said could not be required to pay dues if they opted not to join a union. The ruling was seen as narrow at the time because it did not overturn the 1977 opinion Abood v.

 

Technology and globalization changed the face of organized labor in Illinois. For 20 years, power has shifted from unions in the private sector to those in the public arena.

Flora Johnson represents the newest wave of collective action. She is a public employee represented by a union that's become the top political campaign donor of Illinois' two-term governor.