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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

McLaughlin on Illinois Amendment 1: Public labor unions "don’t need enhanced rights"

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State Rep. Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) explained his opposition to Amendment 1 during a recent Q&A session with the McHenry Times.


"I am opposed to it because it will give unions like the teachers union more power than they already have," he said. "The impact that would have on our schools would be too great. I think it is an overreach and unnecessary. But I like the idea of the voter deciding, so I support it being on the ballot so voters can decide. I also want pension and term limit reforms to be on there."


McLaughlin argued that the amendment will give public labor leaders more influence over politicians than they already have, which he described as a level of power that is not good for anyone.


"Public labor unions already have the collective right to bargain," he said. "They don’t need enhanced rights. If teachers' unions have greater rights, there’s a direct correlation to higher taxes."


An Illinois Policy report noted that state households are already facing a $2,100 increase in property taxes per family over the next four years. If Amendment 1 passes, the tax increases could be much higher as a result of union bosses gaining more power. The amendment also expands on the bargaining points that unions can debate over, with taxpayers expected to pay for them. Such points include "economic welfare" and "safety at work," which do not have clear definitions.


Furthermore, Amendment 1 would also give unions the ability to strike indefinitely if their demands are not met during negotiations. Neighboring states do not allow most government employees to strike. Illinois, in comparison, is working on expanding the ways in which unions can launch strikes. Each year for the past three years, the Chicago Teachers Union has walked out. The same union also held strikes in 2012 and 2019.

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