Republican governors act to cut bargaining rights for state workers

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A move by some Republican governors to remove collective bargaining rights could have consequences for workers in long-term care.

Governors in three states – Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky – have eliminated collective bargaining rights for state employees. Legislative movements in other states aim to get rid of collective bargaining protections. More than 145,000 nursing home workers are part of the Service Employees International Union, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

"It's unconscionable. This is about the very soul of our movement," said Andy Levin of the AFL-CIO, who said his group will fight the governors' efforts. "Collective bargaining is how we built the middle class in this country."

But getting rid of collective bargaining ultimately saves money for the taxpayers, governors believe. "Fundamentally, public employees are different than private sector employees - their employer is the people of Missouri," Gov. Matt Blunt of Missouri said. "Taxpayers should not be bound by collective bargaining agreements."