Paul Kersey is director of labor policy at the Illinois Policy Institute and served as director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy from September 2007 to May 2012.

Kersey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In 1993, he received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois.

After practicing law in Livonia, Mich., for several years, Kersey served on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform and Oversight Committee. He then spent three years at the National Right to Work Committee as director of state legislation. In that role, he analyzed and responded to labor legislation in all 50 states.

Advice for Gov. Snyder

Forced to make a snap decision with little guidance, a legislator could do a lot worse than to find out what proposal government union officials object to the most and vote for that. … more

Burn Notice

The union establishment's position of influence and privilege is liable to become more and more precarious unless they can re-establish themselves in the private-sector workforce — which may be why a labor board appointed by an administration that benefited mightily from union support is going to great lengths to help unions out in any way they can. … more

Scheduled Saginaw Prevailing Wage Repeal Vote Quietly Killed

The Return of the Company Union

A weakened union that is overly compliant with the company's priorities is what used to be known as a "company union," and unionists used to treat them with suspicion if not contempt. But that was when the union movement was a genuine worker movement. … more

All The Cool Guvs Are Doing It

Rick Snyder has yet to tackle collective bargaining directly, but he has taken a pretty firm line on government employee benefits something that’s bound to make union officials in Michigan uncomfortable. … more

Two Governors

Leaders of our fellow upper-Midwestern states are starting to zero-in on government employee unions. It will be interesting to see if Michigan's incoming governor takes a stand on this issue. … more

Exactly What Unions Are Expected to Do

Government employees have every right to lobby and hire lawyers, but the public is not obligated to give in to their wishes or pay for those lobbyists and lawyers. … more

Right-to-Work: Resistance Is Feudal

The notion of "fundamental privileges" that government cannot withdraw without causing some sort of "disruption" is antithetical to republican government, though it would fit well in a feudal society, with its complex web of privileges and obligations that tied individuals to their stations in life. … more

How to Swipe $200K From Your Union

A UAW Local's bookkeeper cut herself an extra paycheck every week for four years. It would seem union financial reporting standards could afford some tightening up. … more

Governor's Picks for the Civil Service Commission Will Matter

Snyder has promised “customer oriented” government. If he wants to influence how state employees do their work on a “retail” level, or address state employee compensation, he will need to pay attention to this panel, be patient and put serious thought into his CSC appointments when they come up. … more

It Shouldn’t Take a Superhero to Fix Public Education

Mike Barone Gets It

Government employee unions have morphed into a permanent, taxpayer-funded lobby for big government. Any movement, like the Tea Parties, that wants to reduce the scope of government will need to confront and defeat government employee unions — and if they are to have any lasting success, it will be essential that government employee unions lose taxpayer funding. … more

Go for the Movie, Stay for the Audience Reaction

Well-meaning progressives may hope that the teachers unions will embrace reforms at some point, but by now they should realize that the chances of that happening are infinitesimal. Failing that, they face a stark choice between allowing public schools to continue to fail, or confronting a teachers’ union movement that is both one of their most important creations and most generous political benefactors. Davis Guggenheim has shined a light on the progressives’ predicament. It will be interesting to see how they handle it. … more

Pocket Full of Kryptonite

The problem isn’t individual teachers, it’s a larger system that protects mediocrity and incompetence, and elevates political correctness over the fundamentals of reading, writing, math, science and history. And teachers unions like MEA have been both the strongest defenders and the largest beneficiaries of this system. … more

A Little Good News for Kids and Taxpayers

Taxpayers and students won a small but potentially very important victory Friday when administrative law Judge David M. Peltz found that the Legislature did not give unions the authority to sidetrack privatization of non-instructional services by school districts. … more

Reconsidering Worker Rights

Federal labor law isn’t supposed to provide for workers to be unionized after the company makes an agreement with a union. Union representation is supposed to be the workers' own choice. … more

Ain't No Party Like a Chrysler Party

Last night, Channel 2 News in Detroit busted a group of about half a dozen workers at Chrysler's Jefferson North plant drinking and smoking pot during their lunch break. Do we really need TV cameras to prevent UAW workers from getting buzzed on their lunch breaks? … more

Escape Is Never the Safest Path

Storm Front

If anyone in Lansing is serious about helping Detroit, this would be a good time for a bill that would suspend collective bargaining for government employees in the city, so that Detroit's leadership can make the tough choices and make the most of the resources it has. … more

Grand Rapids Press Recognizes Importance of Right-to-Work in Michigan's Future

Last Sunday, The Grand Rapids Press released a new study on the likely effects of a right-to-work law on Michigan’s economy as part of its ongoing “Michigan 10.0” series. … more

Studying Right to Work

A new poll shows 51 percent of likely voters in Michigan support right-to-work. … more

It Would Be a Living...

New non-union auto jobs in right-to-work Mississippi pay $15 an hour and even in a tough economy they are relatively easy to find. … more

Snyder the Tax Cutter?

If Rick Snyder really wants conservatives and tea party activists in his corner and energized, and if he really wants to reinvent Michigan next January, the next step will be dust off one of his own position papers and show some leadership on business tax relief. … more

...And a Few More Questions for Virg

Mayor Bernero, last week during an interview with Paul W. Smith, you made the case that as governor you would have a better chance of developing good working relationships with government employee unions based on your experience as mayor of Lansing. … more

Another Question for Snyder

Why do you think morale is so low among unionized government employees? … more

PowerPoint Postscript

The Defendants Plead Guilty, Your Honor

In two separate cases over the last month, two Michigan union officials pled guilty to violations of federal law. … more

An Open Letter to Rick Snyder

An Open Letter to Virg Bernero

Oakland County Gives Local Governments Something to Shoot For

Bob King's First Amendment

Actually, workers ought to have the full range of First Amendment rights — to join a union, to not join a union, to contribute to causes they believe in, to withhold support from causes they don’t believe in, and to hear speech that is not screened by union officials first. … more

Mike Bouchard and Right-to-Work Legislation

Whether Mike Bouchard is acting out of principle or pragmatism, one can only hope that more gubernatorial candidates follow his lead. … more

Selective Disclosure

There is no reason, aside from political calculation, why unions should not be subjected to the same level of scrutiny as political parties, companies, or issue groups like the Chamber of Commerce. If anything the scrutiny should be even closer because so much of their funds are drawn from union dues that workers must pay or lose their jobs. … more

Analysis: The Man Who Would Be (Bob) King

Big Waste, Bad News

Two bills are working their way through the House of Representatives in Lansing that would change the process of binding arbitration, which is used to resolve contract disputes between local governments and their employees. One of these bills is, at best, a complete waste of time. The other is just a lousy idea. … more

The Man Who Would Be (Bob) King

Does the UAW need another association with a failed automaker? … more

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

Michigan would benefit from having a few elected officials with the nerve to issue the sort of challenge that Gov. Christie has made. … more

More and More a Political Animal

A Tale of Two Counties

Here we have two very similar, fairly wealthy counties; one engages in collective bargaining with its employees on rules similar to Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act, the other doesn’t. One is coping with the recession well, the other is struggling with political infighting. The implications for Michigan are hard to miss: A lot of local governments in Michigan would be better off without collective bargaining. … more

A Law Unto Itself

Whether the standards that the community establishes for police officers be strict or lenient, the setting and enforcement of standards for police conduct is a duty that must be performed by local officials under the scrutiny of citizens themselves.  Oversight of law enforcement is a role that should never be bargained with a union or delegated to arbitration. … more

The Michigan Zombie Child Care Council

Live From New York, It's Saturday Night Labor!

The abuses of power perpetrated by government employee unions are well known and established enough to serve as comedic fodder nationwide. … more

The MEA President Lays on the Guilt Trip

At bottom, Michigan Education Association President Iris Salters’ latest commentary in The Detroit News is an attempt to lay a guilt trip on Michigan taxpayers, essentially saying, "If you really cared about your children you’d send us more money." This sort of manipulation can be annoying when it comes from an acquaintance. When it comes from the president of a multimillion dollar government employee union and lobbying group, it’s bound to be expensive. … more

Is This the Death Blow for the Living Wage?

Municipal living wage ordinances are on very thin ice. … more

Checking on the UAW

The LM-2 forms for 2009 are up on the Department of Labor website. Let’s look at some of the highlights. Up first, the United Auto Workers. It was a tough year all around for the crew at Solidarity House: … more

But I Thought That Went Without Saying ...

Right-to-Work is on the minds of a lot of people who make their living paying close attention to Michigan politics. … more