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Collective bargaining debate

It may have passionate allies at the state Capitol, but the Goldwater Institute is so far failing to advance the centerpiece of its anti-union agenda: ending public employees' ability to negotiate over salary and benefits.

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Unions planning big rally at state Capitol (access required)

Unions from across Arizona are planning to bring hundreds of workers to the state Capitol on Thursday, two days after the Senate advanced a second bill that targets public unions.

They also want to send a clear message that they’re opposing Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to overhaul the state personnel system and make it easier to hire and fire workers.

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Unions forego all-out battle with Legislature — for now (access required)

Public unions are avoiding a forceful confrontation with conservative lawmakers who are pushing for a slew of anti-union proposals – for now.

Instead of declaring an open war by organizing massive protests at the state Capitol — a tactic adopted by labor unions in Wisconsin who faced a similar threat last year — unions here have had a more tempered response.

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Political firestorm looms as lawmakers advance strict anti-labor measures (access required)

In what is shaping up as one of the biggest political fights this year, conservative lawmakers are pushing a slew of measures that would fundamentally weaken public-sector unions in Arizona.

Taken together, the anti-union bills that were approved this week by a legislative committee are more restrictive than what was enacted in Wisconsin, where political turmoil erupted after its governor proposed to curtail collective bargaining rights for most state and local public employees.

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Wisconsin’s Senate Republicans won’t turn page

As if pending litigation and recall elections weren’t enough to choke Wisconsin’s government to a halt, state Republicans have decided to prolong the volatile Senate relations sparked by Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill and antagonized by the Democrats’ multi-week stay in Illinois.

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