2019 KANSAS AFL-CIO Legislative Objectives

The KANSAS AFL-CIO has adopted the following legislative objectives for the 2019 Kansas Legislative Session. Our platform is not limited to this agenda, but instead this represents some of our priorities of focus for a diverse workforce of affiliates. The Kansas AFL-CIO represents white collar and blue collar professionals including Machinists, Industrial Unionists, Public Employees, Teachers and Building Construction Trade Crafts.

2019 KS AFL-CIO

STATE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Worker’s Comp – Revert back to the 4th Edition from the current 6th Edition of the AMA Guide.

Prevailing Wage – Specifically, our bills are repeal bills aimed at Public Construction projects approved at the local level of government. Particularly KC, Wyandotte and the Unified Government. State law prevents local governments from utilizing prevailing wage contracts

Economic Development – Support Job Creation including increased Highway Funding and infrastructure. Supporting the Transportation Task Force recommendations (in bill form) is a good start and will allow the KDOT to proceed and fund over 20 delayed T-Works highway projects that were put on hold because of state budget cuts. Our State must invest in the future and for an economy that works for all!

Worker’s Comp – “Choice of Physician” by the injured workers. Currently, injured workers have no choice but to use the “company recommended” doctor. This is an unfair advantage for companies and skews the assessment for eligibility of benefits.

Worker’s Comp & UI Nominating Committee – Change back to a fairer nominating committee that selects Work Comp ALJ’s (Administrative Law Judges) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) Board of Review judges that hear appeals for benefits. Right now, there are seven people on the committee. Only one adequately represents labor. Benefit levels should also be improved.

Public Employee Rights, Pay & Benefits – Civil Service protections have been reduced over the past decade when they should be expanded. Fewer local government employees have union contracts. State Employee increases are necessary for the longtime neglect of achieving and maintaining market pay and benefits (Health Care & KPERS). The loss of Teacher due process rights has meant a loss of amazing talent and contributed to the population exodus Kansas is experiencing. Further, this is just patently unfair.

Support Public Education Funding – Correlating to Supreme Court decisions and funding levels supported by the Democratic Caucuses. Charter school efforts detract from this mission.

Medicaid Expansion – Some 150,000 more low-income Kansans could be covered (helped) with health care through Medicaid expansion. In addition to the state saving money in the long run because of neglect and being reactive, studies show this to be a job creator for the state.

Fair Share – Is a rational solution to provide protections against employees who seek to reap the benefits of union representation but at no cost to them. We must support everyone paying their fair share.

Minimum Wage – It’s time we raise the minimum wage in Kansas! Phase-in and tie-to the federal level increases will again be addressed in numerous bills introduced.

Worker Rights – Freedom to join unions must be preserved and we will oppose any infringement on the rights of workers to join a union guaranteed in the National Labor Relations Act. Additionally, we will oppose efforts to alter long standing practices of dues deduction and / or freedoms to contribute to charities or political advocacy.

Workplace Safety – Oppose plans that compromise worker safety and support enforcement of safety regulations.