2021 KANSAS AFL-CIO Legislative Objectives

The KANSAS AFL-CIO has adopted the following legislative objectives for the 2021 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.

2021 KS AFL-CIO 



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 – A recent Supreme Court ruling may create instances where injured workers could still fall through the cracks. Our position is that more could be done to allow for reverting back to the 4th Edition from the current 6th Edition of the AMA Guide whenever possible.

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 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!

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 is 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 – COVID-19 has presented new problems in the workplace. Workers deserve a safe working environment. Oppose plans that compromise worker safety and support enforcement of safety regulations.

Worker’s Comp – The benefits for Permanent Total Disability have not been raised for several years and max out  with a “cap” of $155,000. This is per injury and a worker cannot receive more than one such award in a lifetime.

Payday Loan Reform – Working Families and our most vulnerable citizens fall victim to an economy that has seen stagnant wages (despite a thriving economy). This is further exacerbated when Payday Loan Banks are cropping up on every corner to loan people money at exorbitant interest rates. This industry should not continue to keep operating with no regulation. We must support new legislation to stop predatory lending in Kansans.

Worker’s Comp, the UI Nominating Committee & UI Benefits – 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 two adequately represents labor. UI Benefit levels should also be improved to eliminate the sunset on the 26 Week maximum eligibility and to make 26 Weeks permanent. Also, to eliminate the Waiting Week, which is especially burdensome during these tough times.