Recently we had the pleasure of talking to one of our members ─ Billy Dycus, president of the Tennessee AFL-CIO ─ about how he came to know WCRI. Billy has been president of the state’s largest labor organization since 2015. The Tennessee AFL-CIO includes 273 different local labor unions and has more than 60,000 members statewide. Before becoming state AFL-CIO president, Billy served as president of United Steelworkers Local 1155L in Morrison, Tennessee.

1) How did you learn about WCRI?

Abbie Hudgens, the administrator of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, was the person who introduced me to WCRI.


2) What value do you derive from being a member of WCRI?

WCRI is an outstanding source of information to the Tennessee AFL-CIO and its affiliated members. As policymakers and stakeholders in Tennessee and across the United States debate the issues related to workers’ compensation, the research provided by the Institute has been invaluable to the Tennessee AFL-CIO in our discussions about the future of workers’ compensation in our state.


3) What is your favorite WCRI study/research area?

Since opioid addiction and over prescribing of pain medication is a problem in Tennessee, the area of research I’m most interested in is the frequency and costs of physician-dispensed prescriptions as it allows me to see and monitor the correlation between workers compensation injuries and over prescribing of pain medication.  


4) Can you describe a moment when WCRI’s research was really helpful?

In a recent legislative session, I was able to talk to legislators about the Tennessee workers’ compensation system and how it compares to surrounding states. I could not have done that without WCRI’s research. Being able to relate and share information provided by the Institute was a great way for me to give these legislators a clear understanding of labor’s position on proposed changes to workers’ compensation law.


Interested in becoming a member of WCRI? Click here to learn about the benefits of membership, and then use the form below to contact us with your interest or any questions you have.


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