The effort to enshrine enhanced union bargaining rights into the Illinois Constitution dramatically jeopardizes employer rights and taxpayer protections.
The proposed Constitutional Amendment does four things:
- Creates a “fundamental right” to organize and bargain:
— Over and above any current law restricting bargaining activity and regardless of any employer rights currently in law, workers will be provided a fundamental right to bargain.
- Expands the right to bargain over wages, hours, working conditions, and economic welfare and safety at work:
— The National Labor Relations Act and the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act guarantee employees’ ability to bargain over wages, hours, and working conditions. Period. However, Amendment 1 will dramatically expand those rights to include an undefined “economic welfare and safety” at work; What is “economic welfare” and how much will this cost employers and taxpayers in the future?
- Prohibits lawmakers from interfering with, negating, or diminishing those rights:
— The constitutional amendment specifically prohibits lawmakers from passing laws that restrict the ability to bargain over limitless subjects, or to protect or provide employer rights in the collective bargaining process.
- Overturns the Supreme Court Janus decision and prohibits a worker’s ability to choose to be a member of a union.
Should voters approve Amendment 1, it will be the first constitutional provision of its kind in the nation to:
- make organizing and bargaining a “fundamental right”;
- mandate negotiations over limitless subjects;
- prohibit lawmakers from limiting union power;
- constitutionally ban a worker’s ability to choose to be a union member or not.