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'Out of touch' union members strike over 14.5 percent pay raise

Taxpayers in Will County, Ill. have offered its public employees a hefty pay raise and are willing to pick up 90 percent of the cost for their health insurance, but that’s not good enough for members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 1028.

Its 1,300 members went on strike Monday, decrying a “paltry” offer from the county that would have given workers a 14.5 percent pay hike and have taxpayers pay for the overwhelming majority of their health insurance costs.

“That gives an indication of just how out of touch government workers are,” Steve Stanek, a research fellow at the Heartland Institute, told Illinois Watchdog. “I think they’ve become more radicalized and more out of touch as they have become more unionized.”

Stanek is quick to point to numbers that show labor unions are growing only in the public sector.

“You can go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics … and you will see the government sector is unionized at, I think, six times the rate as the private sector.”

The labor stats show 35 percent of government workers are in a union, compared to just 6 percent of private-sector workers.

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