States, of course, are having their own budget problems. Some, like Wisconsin and Ohio, are looking to change the laws about state employee labor union bargaining rights. This week's Economist/YouGov Poll gives those state governments some - but not complete support.
The Wisconsin state employee unions have accepted increased employee payments for pensions and health benefits, changes the public supports (and so do a majority of those in this poll in union households). Majorities of Americans favor increasing pension and health care contributions from public employees. But there is a division on whether, as a cost-saving measure, new employees should have reduced retirement benefits.
If your state needs to take steps to balance its budget this year, would you favor or oppose the following measures targeting state workers?
Cut retirement benefits for new state employees
Increase the amount that state employees have to contribute to their pension costs
Increase the amount that state employees have to contribute to their health care costs
And there is an overall division on unions in general. Asked whether they approve or disapprove of labor unions, 37% approve and 34% disapprove. But this is a partisan response: 58% of Democrats approve; 65% of Republicans disapprove.
Public employee unions get a more negative rating: 26% favor allowing government employees to be represented by labor unions, but 44% oppose this. Again, there is a partisan divide: Democrats favor public employee unions two to one, while Republicans oppose them by nearly seven to one.
Do you approve or disapprove of labor unions?
Neither approve, nor disapprove
Union members favor letting government employees form unions. But others in union households disagree. Just 24% of them support government employee unions; 35% oppose them.
Image source: flickr (Phil Roeder)