Ban public employe strikes in Illinois

If we really want to help solve Illinois' tottering financial condition, we should ban public employe strikes in Illinois.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner doesn't go far enough when he starts talking about turning Illinois into a "right-to-work" state. That's a great idea as far as it goes. As a former union official myself, I agree with the critics that it would damage union membership, but it not be the death knell of unions or the working class as some union leaders, in their own self-interest, claim. It would give working women and men the choice that is their right.

For more on the right-to-work issue, read Scott Reeder.

Back to public employee's "right" to strike. Some won't believe it, but there was a time that strikes by firefighter, police, teachers and other public servants were illegal. Chicago and Illinois' precarious fiscal situation can be traced to when these same public servants were allowed to walk out on their responsibilities--in some cases, their sworn duties.

The idea of teachers walking out terrifies some parents as well as school officials who will be held responsible for any walkout. Isn't that interesting how that works: Our representatives on school boards usually get the blame for being so stingy that they caused the school shut-down.

Now we know that the school boards weren't too stingy; they were too generous by granting benefits and pensions that were and are not financially sustainable. Crab as union officials want about how the legislators  stole from the pension funds to finance other state functions (e.g. day care, health care for the poor and the schools themselves), the truth is if they hadn't stole a cent the benefits still are far beyond what was affordable.

I haven't a clue how Rauner is going to deal with this problem, but you can be sure that he and anyone who supports the idea that Illinois should be able to pay all its bills to providers is going to be mercilessly trashed. (For example, the Chicago Teachers Union rhetoric here.)

Related: Gov. Rauner has the right idea. His state of the state address is here.

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