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Chicago Current archives

September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

Labor Day, the right to work, and unions

Anyone who remembers the heavyweight fights in the General Assembly in recent years over passage of Indiana's right-to-work law might be surprised to hear the bill's sponsor and the leader of the state's largest coalition of unions agree on something ...


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing in Illinois

A legislative finding attached to the bill said, “The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that the management and operation of a correctional facility or institution involves functions that are inherently governmental. It is further found that ...


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

Online registration already used by thousands in Illinois

The state board put the system online in June, following action by the General Assembly last year. The new law is Public Act 98-115. As of late last week, more than 5,000 people had used the system statewide, said Kyle Thomas, director of voting and ...


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

Quinn to live on minimum wage for week

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is hoping to show first-hand what it's like to live on the state's minimum wage of $8.25 an hour. Quinn has made raising Illinois' minimum wage a cornerstone of his re-election campaign against Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

Chicago Public School students preparing for start of new school year on Tuesday

Students in most suburban schools are already back in the classroom and on Tuesday it's time for Chicago Public School students to hit the books again, so the Labor Day weekend is all about getting ready. It is that time of year again, when summer is ...


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

Librarians Are A Luxury Chicago Public Schools Can't Afford

Two years ago, the Chicago Public Schools budgeted for 454 librarians. Last year, the budget called for 313 librarians, and now that number is down to 254. With educators facing tough financial choices, having a full-time librarian is becoming ...


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

Ex-cop convicted of protecting crooks is back on public payroll

After prison, he was hired as a security officer for the City Colleges of Chicago — the taxpayer-run community college system. Wilson, now 82, still works as an unarmed guard at Arturo Velasquez Institute, a satellite campus of Richard J. Daley ...


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

California drought: Why doesn't California build big dams any more?

How much money drought-stricken California should spend to build new dams was a big part of the debate over the bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed last month to put a $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot. Republicans and Central Valley ...


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

Evanston Unitarian church installs rain gardens

Debra Shore, a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, said at the dedication of the second garden, “Rain gardens . . . are important because they seat us in right relationship to the land. By capturing rain ...


September 01, 2014 @ 7:01 AM

Enough with all the Inspector Clouseaus

The two extremes come to mind following a recent Better Government Association examination of budgets, staffing, authority and impact in seven IG offices that oversee government in Chicago: City administration, aldermen, parks, housing, schools, ...


August 31, 2014 @ 7:02 AM

Illinois lawmakers approved keeping some workers out of unions

“This was done with a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both houses,” said Henry Bayer, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees when the bill passed. “It was a very dangerous precedent in my ...


August 31, 2014 @ 7:02 AM

Why America does not celebrate Labor Day on May 1 - It all started in Chicago...

Only few people know why the first Labor Day became a fact. That could have something to do with the way it all started. It started when, in the summer of 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions stated that on May first 1886 there ...


August 31, 2014 @ 7:02 AM

Illinois' big unionized workforce has become a big campaign issue

“If you had said something less (than 90 percent) that would have surprised me,” said Robert Bruno, professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “There may be a couple of states that are higher, but ...


August 31, 2014 @ 7:02 AM

State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing

... Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union represents more state workers in Illinois than any other. “There's businesses who want ... A legislative finding attached to the bill said, “The General ...


August 31, 2014 @ 7:02 AM

State of unions: Lawmakers approved keeping some workers out of unions

Despite Illinois' reputation as a labor-friendly state, it hasn't always been smooth sailing for state worker unions. In early 2013, the General Assembly passed a bill that prohibited workers holding certain job titles from joining a union. Some ...


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