I have argued for the Illinois state legislature to remove from collective bargaining language that protects police misconduct, abuse and brutality.
I haven’t heard back yet from any state legislators, even my own.
I have heard back from union people, even some union leaders, who agree with me.
The principle is simple.
Mayor Lightfoot should not be forced to bargain police reform with the target of the reforms. That’s what union contract negotiations are: Bargaining. Some wins. Some losses for each side.
Anything other than real change cannot be the result of the efforts to reform policing in Chicago.
I am not surprised that the enemies of unionism and the right of public employees to collectively bargain have jumped on this reform.
The problem with the Fraternal Order of Police isn’t their right to collectively bargain.
It is that the law allows them to bargain language that protects them from prosecution when they break the law.
Standard public employee contracts have due process rights that protect our members from misconduct by employers.
The FOP has due process language that shields their members when they engage in misconduct and brutality against citizens who are more often than not Black and Brown.
The Illinois legislature can fix that by removing that language and the right to bargain it from police contracts.
If you missed this central issue in The Wall Street Journal it’s not because you weren’t looking.
The enemies of unions and collective bargaining for public employees (and all workers) are also the enemies of the Black Lives Matter movement.
After the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson the WSJ published:
But what if the Black Lives Matter movement is based on fiction? Not just the fictional account of the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., but the utter misrepresentation of police shootings generally.
To judge from Black Lives Matter protesters and their media and political allies, you would think that killer cops pose the biggest threat to young black men today. But this perception, like almost everything else that many people think they know about fatal police shootings, is wrong.
Public employees’ right to collectively bargain in Illinois has only existed for thirty years.
That right has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers in Illinois.
But the FOP stands outside the movement of organized labor and no contract should be used to hide police abuse.