Public Employee Labor Legislation: A Study of the Unsuccessful Attempt to Enact a Public Employee Bargaining Statute in Illinois

Clark Jr., R. Theodore
March 1969
Labor Law Journal;Mar69, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p164
Academic Journal
This article presents the text of a speech given by Theodore Clark Jr. before the Western Region of the Public Personnel Association on March 26, 1968, which dealt with the enactment of the public employee bargaining statute in Illinois. In the previous years, Illinois, like other states, has been besieged by numerous threatened and actual strikes by its public employees. It was against this background of rising discontent on the part of many of the State's 400,000 public employees that led Governor Otto Kerner on July 26, 1966, to establish by Executive Order an Advisory Commission on Labor-Management Policy for Public Employees in order to consider all aspects of employee-employer relations for state and local governmental agencies and to make recommendations for such additional legislation as may be needed. The Commission, chairmaned by Martin Wagner, the Director the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations at the University of Illinois, was composed of 20 members representing all major interest groups. In addition, two Illinois legislators from each political party were appointed to the Commission. While each member of the Commission did not necessarily agree with each recommendation in the Report, the Commission unanimously agreed that the Report and Recommendations in its entirety provided a sound basis for legislation on the subject. On the question of to whom the statute should apply, the Commission recommended that it apply to all public employee groups in the State of Illinois. While cognizant of the fact that certain groups of employees such as teachers have been treated separately in some states, like California, the Commission felt that most labor-management problems requiring legislative action were the same for all groups and that any differences which might be inherent in certain occupational, groups could be worked out within the framework of one comprehensive statute.


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