Indiana state workers lost their collective bargaining rights in 2005. While the value to taxpayers remains debated, some outcomes are clear.
The move ushered in a period of extensive reorganization, consolidation and privatization of government services — efforts Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has said could not have happened so quickly under union contracts.
Meanwhile, union membership plummeted. Prior to 2005, 16,408 Indiana state workers paid union dues out of about 25,000 who were eligible, or 66 percent, according to state and union figures. Today, just 1,409 out of 20,000 eligible workers, or 7 percent, pay dues.
Also, raises are now merit-based, and overall total state employment is down about 6,000 workers to 27,400, mostly through attrition.
In Indiana, taxpayers have saved "hundreds of millions of dollars" because Daniels centralized administrative functions, outsourced operations such as food services in prisons, closed facilities and reorganized work functions, said Jane Jankowski, a Daniels spokeswoman.
"These actions were aided by the fact that there was no collective bargaining to slow the process," she said.
On Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show two weeks ago, Daniels, who has been discussed as a possible 2012 presidential candidate, called the elimination of collective bargaining "a profoundly positive event," saying he was freed from arrangements that "basically said you couldn't move a Xerox machine from one room to the other without, you know, the union's permission."
Posted by Jim Hoft on Sunday, December 9, 2012, 9:51 AM
The vote passed with a six point margin in both houses.
Unions are planning major protests this week against the legislation.
Union members and others opposed to Michigan becoming a “right-to-work” state plan major protests in the state capital this week to try to stop Republicans from restricting labor unions in the cradle of the unionized U.S. auto industry.H/T Gateway Pundit
Right-to-work opponents will begin to converge on Lansing on Monday, organizers said, and they expect thousands at the rally on Tuesday when the state legislature reconvenes.
With Republicans in control of the legislature and the governor committed to sign the laws, Michigan could become the 24th right-to-work state by the middle of the week, dealing a stunning blow to the power of organized labor in the United States.
Michigan Republicans surprised labor unions on Thursday by pushing through the legislature in a day a proposal making union membership and dues voluntary in the private sector. The state Senate also voted to apply that to the public sector, except for police and fire unions.
“Never in a million years did I think that Michigan would ever become a right-to-work state. We are Motown, The Motor City. Michigan was built on unions,” said Libby Brown, president of a teachers’ union local in Jackson, Michigan, referring to the state’s roots in popular music and auto manufacturing.