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State Employees-Union Growth,129 Among Ill. workers, union membership surges

Posted by wlpo on March 26, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – It’s getting lonely at the top of Illinois state government.

According to records analyzed by The Associated Press, more than 10,000 state employees have joined unions in the past eight years, a four-fold increase over the previous eight years.

If pending requests are approved, nearly 97 percent of state workers would be represented by unions.

That includes many employees once considered management. Only 1,700 “bosses” would be left out of nearly 50,000 state employees.

While Republican governors elsewhere move to throttle the influence of state employee unions, the surge in Illinois’ union membership worries even traditionally union-friendly Democrats, who fear it could harm the effective management of government.

It has put them in the awkward position of trying to smother union growth even as they criticize GOP curbs elsewhere.

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