Governor Bruce Rauner likes to say, “I’ve been a success at everything I’ve done.” This week, the governor is experiencing a little less success than he is used to.
The governor’s anti-middle class resolution in support of so-called “right to work” measures has failed to be approved at most of the local government meetings where is has been discussed.
This week, the governor’s resolution failed to win approval in Naperville, where a strong union turnout persuaded elected officials to table the governor’s resolution, which won’t actually solve our state’s problems. It was tabled
More than two dozen people, most of them Naperville residents, signed up beforehand to address the council about the issue. All but one of them implored the members to vote against the resolution. Some of the speakers openly derided the proposal, calling it a death knell for the middle class.
Bob Graham, who said he is a retired high school U.S. history teacher, admitted that the agenda, “in an ideal world,” is appealing.
“In real language, however, this resolution is designed to kill unions,” said Graham, one of nearly 600 people who jammed the council chamber and lobby of the Municipal Center to display their opposition to the agenda
Naperville is in the traditional Republican stronghold of DuPage County, so this was a significant event. It must have stung. Maybe that’s why the governor came after IEA and IFT this week, eliciting this response from IEA President Cinda Klickna.
As was stated during the recent IEA Representative Assembly, IEA is a bipartisan organization, supporting Republicans and Democrats who support public education and the middle class. The Rauner resolution is being correctly perceived, by stalwarts of both parties as well as independents, as an attack on both. And that’s on top of the fact that his ideas seem to be illegal.
Along with Naperville, governments that recently rejected or declined to vote on the Rauner resolution, include: Libertyville, Mundelein, Wauconda, Kane County, Aurora Township, Campton Hills, Vernon Hills, Pecatonica, Charleston and Pingree.
The governor has asked municipalities to approve a pre-written resolution that suggests several measures for improving the state’s finances. Among them are allowing voters to decide whether workers should be forced to join a union, removing pay requirements for municipal construction work, letting voters have more control over topics that can be negotiated in union contracts, rolling back unfunded mandates, changing workers’ compensation and reforming pensions.
In Dixon, a re-written version of the Rauner resolution was passed by the city council. It’s a doozy.
WHEREAS, the real agenda of the Right to Work concept is to undercut wages and benefits for hard working Illinoisans […]
WHEREAS, Governor Rauner wants to allow local governments to opt out of paying the Prevailing Wage on public works projects, but since the Prevailing Wage is set locally and actually boosts local job growth and since the prevailing wage discourages out-of-state companies from undercutting the local wage and benefit base the Prevailing Wage is itself a strong economic development tool […]
WHEREAS, we do not want to ignore these laws and make public employees second class citizens when it comes to bargaining their workplace rights;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the City Council of the City of Dixon does not endorse or agree with the establishment of proposed “Right-to-Work” zones in the State of Illinois, nor does it support the erosion of public employee bargaining rights and plan to follow the laws as they exist
There have been some successes for the Rauner attack on the middle class, but some of those are tainted.
In Rockford, the city council approved the resolution few knew it would consider. The item was added to the meeting agenda at the close of business last Friday, then voted on last Monday. Surprise attacks are necessary if your ideas won’t withstand examination.
Despite the lack of enthusiasm for Rauner’s resolution, it remains his focus, despite the fact that it doesn’t address the real problems of Illinois.
Jim NOWLAN, a former Republican House member who has co-authored a book titled “Fixing Illinois,” watched the speech at the Citizens Club and said he thinks Rauner had some good points, but “I don’t know that the proposals that he is making will solve the fundamental problems that we have,” including a big budget hole and pension debt. And with the General Assembly solidly Democratic, Nowlan said, “I don’t see much of it happening.”
If people keep showing up and speaking out, it won’t happen. In the places where boards have declined to approve the governor’s attack on the middle class, there was a strong union turnout and the facts about so called “right to work” schemes were aired.
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