April 13, 2011 NILRR News Clips

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Wisconsin state and local government workers pay “$500, $600 or in some cases,
$1,000” per year in union dues.

PolitiFact Wisconsin Online, 2/22/2011

According to Walker, if workers opt out of the union, they
could save a fair amount of money.

On Feb. 20, 2011, on the “Fox News Sunday” program, Walker
said “for those workers who don’t want to be a part of the union, if you don’t
want that deduction each month out of the paycheck, they should be able to get
that $500, $600 or in some cases, $1,000 back that they can apply for their
health care and their pension contribution.”

Walker made a similar statement three days earlier on Fox
television’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” And Washington Post
columnist George Will wrote that Walker told him that many employees could save
$500 or $600 per year in union dues and that teachers could save up to $1,000.

Budget deal spares union-friendly NLRB

Washington Times Online, 4/12/2011

Despite Republican efforts and promises to the contrary,
the budget deal reached last Friday spares cuts to the National Labor Relations
Board, which is supposed to resolve disputes between management and labor, but
under the Obama administration has devolved into a vehicle to reward unions and
bludgeon businesses.

Back in February, a GOP-led effort to defund the entire
agency failed, but the Wall Street Journal reported that, “the agency remains a
target for spending cuts that would slash its annual budget by $50 million, or
nearly one-fifth.”

New Mexico Governor Signs Pension Bill

Daily Labor Report Online, 4/11/2011

Under the “pension-swap’’ measure, signed April 8 and
taking effect July 1, members of New Mexico’s Public Employees Retirement
Association and the Educational Retirement Board, which represents educators,
will be required to pay an additional 1.75 percent of their salaries into their
pensions for the next two years. The swap comes on top of a 1.5 percent pension
swap that was enacted in 2009 and was set to expire June 30. Lawmakers voted to
extend the swap for another year, to June 30, 2012.

Idaho Enacts Anti-Union Education Law; Foes Launch Referendum to Overturn It

Daily Labor Report Online, 4/11/2011

MISSOULA, Mont.—Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter (R) has
signed the last of three bills that curtail teachers’ collective bargaining
rights and overhaul the state’s education system, an effort that foes are
seeking to overturn with a referendum.

Otter’s signature on Republican-backed Senate Bill 1184
capped a months-long GOP-led campaign to revamp Idaho’s K-12 public education
system by reducing the role of the state teacher’s union, phasing out teacher
tenure, introducing merit pay, and excluding teachers from decisions about class
size, workload, and safety issues (49 DLR A-2, 3/14/11).

Labor Department May Endure Smaller Cuts As Part of Fiscal 2011 Budget

Daily Labor Report Online, 4/12/2011

The House is slated to vote April 14 on a breakthrough deal
to keep the government funded through the end of fiscal year 2011, including an
$800 million cut in discretionary spending for the Labor Department, which is a
far cry from the $2.5 billion reduction House Republican leaders were seeking to
impose on DOL in an earlier measure.

Employees at Maryland Casino Set to Vote For UFCW, Coalition of Unions, or No

Daily Labor Report Online, 4/12/2011

Employees at the Casino at Ocean Downs in Berlin, Md., are
scheduled to vote April 20 in a National Labor Relations Board-supervised
election on whether they wish to be represented by an incumbent union, a
coalition of three unions, or no union.

In his decision, Gold said the Dana decision is controlling
in this case because the board has not overruled or modified that decision. The
petition raises a question concerning representation, he said, because it was
timely filed within the 45-day period following the posting of the notice, and
was supported by at least 30 percent of the bargaining unit.

‘Right-to-work’ headed to Senate vote

Concord Monitor Online, 4/13/2011

The four Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee voted
to endorse the “right-to-work” legislation over the opposition of the
committee’s lone Democrat. The Republican senators said the bill would give
workers greater freedom to decide whether to support union efforts. Committee
Vice Chairman Ray White, a Bedford Republican, described the issue as “the
freedom of choice versus compulsion.” He said unions will continue to bring in
membership dues so long as they make a compelling case for their services.

Protests Against Right to Work Bill

DUQ FM Online, NPR, 90.5 FM, 4/12/2011

Pennsylvania’s unions are mobilizing against a bill that
would end mandatory union dues for public employees.

Teamsters packed the Capitol rotunda to oppose House
Republican Daryl Metcalfe’s bill, which would let local and state public
employees opt out of union membership. They chanted, “what time is it? Union
time!” before the start of the rally, where Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Treasurer Frank
Snyder said unions won’t be afraid to spend money on the fight against the bill.

Countering the Siege

New York Times Online, 4/12/2011

WASHINGTON — Perhaps more than any other American, Gerald
W. McEntee has surfed the rising tide of public sector unions to success and
power. As leader of the largest union of state and local government workers for
three decades, he has amassed enormous political influence and a huge campaign
war chest that he has not hesitated to use to advance his union’s interests.

But now, with public sector unions under attack in
deficit-plagued states and cities nationwide, Mr. McEntee faces the biggest
challenge of his career — avoiding a wipeout.

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