Thomas W. Washburne was director of labor policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy from 2005 to 2007. In the 10 years prior to his joining the Center, Washburne worked in Washington, D.C., serving at different times as counsel and chief of staff for two members of Congress and as director of the National Center for Home Education, where he managed research projects, media and federal government relations. Washburne's numerous articles and Op-Eds have appeared in a variety of newspapers, including The Detroit News, The Washington Times and the Lansing State Journal.

From 1998 to 2000, Washburne was an Abraham Lincoln Fellow in Constitutional Government at the Claremont Institute (a nonresident position). He has also served as a federal law clerk for the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, as an adjunct instructor at Patrick Henry College, as an instructor at Vincennes University and as a regular guest lecturer at Indiana University and the Defense Department's National Defense University. He has practiced law privately, and he is licensed in both Michigan and Indiana.

Washburne holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Purdue University and a law degree from Indiana University.

By Thomas W. Washburne

Right-to-Work FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Right-to-Work … more

Your Getting Rich Costs Me Nothing

A Collective Bargaining Primer

Collective bargaining determines not only the quality and responsiveness of a school district’s teachers and support personnel, but the amount of money remaining to school board members to benefit the children under their care. Thus, while labor negotiations may sometimes feel remote from the process of helping children learn in the classroom, the results of this bargaining often affect a school board’s ability to implement educational policies.

This book is designed to assist school board members in understanding the basic principles and laws of collective bargaining, including some of the major substantive and procedural challenges facing Michigan school boards. In addition, the text is full of quotations from school board members and other education professionals concerning their experiences with collective bargaining and school employee unions. The combination of informational content and personal reflections provides new insights to school board members — and to policymakers, journalists and the general public, as well. … more

Venezuela’s Destiny

The AFL-CIO Picks the U.N. Over the Constitution

How we interpret our labor law, or any other law for that matter, is for us to decide, not a foreign dictator or world body. … more

Reforming America’s mandatory representation

Twenty-Nine Seconds That Changed History

The Pursuit of Happiness

Memorial Day: for the Love of Liberty

Michigan Should End Its Tax Favoritism

Union Monitor

42 Days of Infamy? (General Article)

42 Days of Infamy? (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

We can speculate, however, that a worker might sign a public petition at the request of a friend, but vote another way when protected by privacy. … more

Defining benefits down

Change To Win What?

Organized labor has moved well beyond its core mission of championing workers’ issues to financing and promoting a range of policies and groups that have nothing to do with labor. … more

Change To Win What?

Public Pension Plans Need To Reflect Reality

When it comes to defined benefits, corporations and municipalities have seen the warning signs and are changing course to avoid getting burned. Public school employee unions and their allies in Lansing would be wise to do the same. … more

Making Promises That Can be Kept