At the end of the day, the collective bargaining practices of Government Unions offer them a monopoly on electing officials across the United States.
The State Government Leadership Foundation believes it is time for state and local governments to reestablish voter control over government by ending collective bargaining with Government Unions.
- Collective bargaining gives government unions a monopoly on labor. It prevents voters and taxpayers from hiring anyone on nonunion terms. This gives government unions enormous leverage over the public.
- In the private sector, competition keeps union demands in line. The government earns no profits—unions bargain for more tax dollars.
- Bargaining collectively in government means that voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead, their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with the unions.
- Government unions have used this leverage to raise government pay above private-sector pay and negotiate subsidies for their fundraising, thereby politicizing the civil service. Aside from the political parties, government unions are the top campaign spenders in America.
- State and local governments should restore voter control over government by ending collective bargaining with government unions.
Government unions are also, essentially, proponents of more government, more handouts, and greater spending. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize the wish lists of government unions.
- Unlike in the past, a majority of union members in the U.S. now work for the government. Their pay and benefits are funded by taxpayers.
- Unions are campaigning for higher taxes and more government spending in dozens of states across the country. Today’s union movement consists largely of government employees lobbying for more government.
- This transformation of unions is the result of competition, which has undercut private-sector unions like the United Auto Workers. But the government faces no competition, so government unions can negotiate higher pay and more benefits (and higher taxes to pay for it) without risking their jobs.
- In the government, payroll systems automatically deduct union dues from unionized employees’ paychecks. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize union campaigns, much less those that call for tax increases. Congress should end the automatic payroll deduction of union dues.
News & Articles
Right to Work and a Test for Republicans
Ohio's economy is improving, but the GOP-controlled legislature could do even more to spur growth.
According to Chief Executive Magazine's 2013 ranking of "Best and Worst States for Business," Ohio has improved more than any other state over the past year, jumping 13 places to 22nd in the nation from 35th in 2012. Still, a ranking of 22nd out of 50 states leaves plenty of room for improvement and begs the question: What do the top 10 states for business—Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Arizona, Virginia, South Carolina, Nevada and Georgia—have in common? All are right-to-work states. Ohio is not. Right-to-work laws, also known as workplace-freedom laws, make union membership a worker's choice rather than a mandatory condition of employment. Twenty four states—most recently, Ohio's neighbors Indiana and Michigan—have already enacted right-to-work laws. These 24 states have a significant competitive advantage when it comes to attracting jobs.
Right-to-work legislation, sponsored by Rep. Roegner of Hudson, gets committee hearing
The two also have offered a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed before voters on the issue. It's separate from another amendment being pursued by Tea Party and related groups, which are gathering petition signatures but likely will not have enough names to qualify for the fall ballot. On June 4, the two GOP lawmakers repeated what they and other proponents have said about right-to-work laws -- that such changes would make the state more competitive and attractive to businesses and help Ohio keep pace with two dozen other states, including bordering Indiana and Michigan, that have comparable laws already in place
Bill requiring consent to collect union dues goes to Nixon
Burlison handled the bill during floor debate. He described the bill as a Senate compromise. His original bill, House Bill 64, applied to all unionized workers. “I don’t believe this bill goes far enough. I think it should encompass literally every Missourian and protect everybody’s individual right to contribute and associate with any organization they so choose,” Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, said, adding that the bill at least was progress.
Legislation would require consent for union member fee collections in Missouri
The 85-69 vote in the Republican-led House was three greater than the minimum number needed to pass legislation and 24 votes short of a two-thirds majority that would be needed for a veto override, should Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon reject the bill. The Senate passed the same version of the bill earlier this year. Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, said the bill would protect the rights of individual union members. Other supporters argued that giving members a choice to opt-in to automatic paycheck deductions allows them to play a more active role in the organization's political activities.
GOP legislators plan right-to-work bills
Kasich, Republican leaders mum on support
Kasich has since refused to support any right-to-work efforts in Ohio — a bid to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot is proceeding slowly — and Democrats were quick to pounce on news of the new bills. But Kasich wouldn’t commit one way or the other on the latest GOP effort. “There have been 300 bills introduced so far this year,” said Rob Nichols, Kasich’s spokesman. “ We don’t weigh in on all of them, and it would be premature to do so on these.“The governor has a big agenda that’s moving through the legislature, and he continues to work on it.” State Reps. Ron Maag of Lebanon and Kristina Roegner of Hudson will hold a news conference today announcing their intentions.
Maine Senate delivers death blow to pair of ‘right-to-work’ bills
Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, sponsored both bills. One, LD 786, sought to repeal the law allowing public employee unions to deduct the equivalent of union dues from the paychecks of public-sector workers who choose not to join the union. On Wednesday, House members rejected the bill 89-56. A second bill, LD 831, aimed to allow an employee to work at a unionized business without having to support the union financially as a condition of employment. The House rejected that bill Wednesday by a tally of 92-53. Debate and voting on both measures followed largely party lines, with Republicans supporting the measures and Democrats voicing opposition. Independent Sen. Richard Woodbury of Yarmouth and Republican Sens. Tom Saviello of Wilton and Brian Langley of Ellsworth voted with the 18 Democratic senators on hand for Thursday’s vote.
Christie to present plan to reform N.J. worker's compensation system
“The employers who may not be stepping up and meeting their obligations and also the employees who are committing fraud on the worker’s comp system," he said. The Republican governor said his office and the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development have been working to address problems in the system.
A caller who identified himself as David from Forked River asked Christie: “Is there a way to change the way the workers comp guidelines are if an employer does not provide treatment and benefits they way they’re supposed to under law?” Christie advised him to look for reform proposals soon.
Christie softens on teachers, blames unions and not individuals
Christie – who, shortly after taking office, said the state’s largest teachers union was run by selfish “thugs” – said he does not have anything against individual teachers. “I don’t think teachers are the problem. I think unions are the problem,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd. “There is an extraordinary divide in my experience between the attitude of the members and the attitude of many people in leadership of these unions,” he added later.
Missouri lawmakers advance ‘right to work’ legislation
The statehouse has made several stabs at adopting a version of a “right to work” law. Last month, the state senate approved a broader bill that extends the require to private sector unions as well. Gov. Jay Dixon opposes right-to-work and has twice vetoed such bills in the past. But the advocates are pushing a version that could skip the governor and instead decide the matter through a November voter referendum. Should it pass, Missouri would become the 25th state to adopt so-called “right to work” laws. Michigan became the 24th state earlier this year. Unions have been protesting the move, dubbing such legislation “paycheck deception“.
Schuette seeks to dismiss federal right-to-work lawsuit
In court documents filed late Wednesday, Schuette said the NLRA includes a clause that protects states’ ability to regulate compulsory union membership, and through that provision, the NLRA “expressly permits” right-to-work laws. Right-to-work laws ban mandatory union dues as a condition of employment. He also cited various court decisions that say the NLRA doesn’t preclude states from regulating union security clauses in labor agreements. “Michigan’s law is neither unique or novel,” Schuette said in court documents. “Michigan joins the multitude of states that use the same or similar language in their laws.”
Education unions control state policy
How much money would that save statewide? Vice Chairman Erik Wells, D-Kanawha, thought Duerring's suggestion made sense and sponsored legislation to that effect. Other state employees accrue paid leave a month at a time. Why not teachers? But Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, branded this commonsense suggestion "another slap in the face" to teachers. And on Thursday, members of the Senate Education Committee killed the bill. Once again, legislators allowed teachers unions to control state policy. How to look weak without trying.
Michigan GOP explores further limits on unions
With right to work in place, state GOP explores other restrictions
To counter this argument, some conservative activists are proposing an offspring of the right-to-work legislation. They are urging Republican lawmakers to ban exclusivity clauses for public-sector unions — the state's recognition that a union is the sole representative in bargaining for a particular group of workers. "It does away with one of the talking points the opposition will use in the ballot campaign leading up to November 2014, because we're all certain that will happen," said conservative activist Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan.
Arizona bill would stop cities from imposing employee benefit laws on companies
The House already has approved HB 2280. That means it requires only a final Senate roll-call vote before going to Gov. Jan Brewer. Sherry Gillespie, lobbyist for the Arizona Restaurant Association, said there is no real problem here - yet. But she said members of her organization are mindful of what is occurring elsewhere. "We're fortunate to get out in front of it,'' she said.
Mo. Senate passes union paycheck deduction bill
Public safety unions representing first responders would be exempt and not have to seek consent from members under the Senate bill. The Senate voted 24-10 along party lines Thursday to send the measure to the House. Republicans supported the bill, while Democrats voted against it. The House on Wednesday passed a similar measure that would only require consent to spend dues on political contributions.
Kansas Senate debating union paycheck deductions
Supporters of the bill say they want to prevent public employee unions from funneling money deducted from members’ paychecks to candidates or causes opposed by those members. They also contend that state and local government agencies processing payrolls shouldn’t be entangled in such transactions. Opponents argue there’s no need for the legislation because union members must agree to any deductions. Public employee unions say the measure is meant to hurt their fundraising and is another politically motivated attempt by many Republicans to undermine groups that overwhelmingly support Democrats.
Time to Make Union Representation Voluntary
Time to Make Union Representation Voluntary
James Sherk - The Heritage Foundation
Edward Savarese learned the hard way how inefficiently the government operates. The rookie 5th grade teacher in Clark County, Nevada excelled in the classroom. He won recognition as one of his district’s “New Teachers of the Year.” But a month later the School Board laid him off because he lacked seniority.
Unlike the private sector, many state and local governments base layoffs on seniority. Government raises typically have little to do with performance. Pension costs have driven many cities into bankruptcy. These policies hurt taxpayers, communities, and diligent workers. Poor union contracts drive much of this dysfunction.
Alabama Senate passes right-to-work legislation
While most people realize Alabama is friendly to business, Sen. Gerald Dial said the amendment would send a message to businesses throughout the nation and throughout the world “that Alabama is serious about business.” The Alabama AFL-CIO opposes the proposal.
Kansas casts eye on teachers unions
The battle over teachers unions has marched its way across the country. Ohio. Michigan. Wisconsin. Idaho. And now it’s in Kansas, greeted by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and his conservative allies in the Legislature. Lawmakers are moving to undercut the tenuous power of teachers unions by barring them from using voluntary paycheck deductions for politics. And they’re going after teachers’ ability to bargain collectively on key issues — hoping to give cash-strapped school districts new flexibility and leverage in contract talks.
Senate votes 34-0 for open teacher contract talks
A bill mandating open teacher contract talks cleared the Senate unanimously, reflecting a rare point of agreement between the education union and school boards on a remnant of the failed "Students Come First" overhaul. Friday's vote was 34-0, sending the proposal to make collective bargaining talks public and require school board officials to post notices of upcoming negotiation sessions to the House.
The bill would also make all meeting minutes and contract offers subject to state open records laws. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's Students Come First law died on Nov. 6 at the polls. But foes and supporters alike of that overhaul said this measure, included in that package, should be preserved. The Idaho Education Association union supported the legislation, as did the Idaho School Boards Association.
New York Teachers’ Union Challenges State’s Tax Cap
The tax cap, which Mr. Cuomo persuaded the Legislature to approve in 2011, limits annual increases in local property taxes to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The vast majority of school districts – 642 of 678, or about 95 percent – stayed within the tax cap last year, according to Mr. Cuomo’s office. (The cap does not affect New York City.) The teachers’ union, which filed its lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Albany, has been mulling a legal challenge ever since it failed to persuade lawmakers to reject Mr. Cuomo’s proposal.
Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper threatens veto of firefighter unions bill in present form
Gov. Bill Ritter, Hickenlooper's Democratic predecessor, vetoed a nearly identical bill in 2009, a move that cost him points with labor groups and his own party. "As a former mayor, I respect the positive good that can result from collective bargaining," Hickenlooper said in the letter to Democratic leaders. "In Denver, we successfully negotiated collective bargaining agreements with the firefighters' union. In those negotiations, we operated with the mutual understanding that we must take into consideration the shared interests of making responsible use of taxpayer funds, prioritizing the well-being and safety of the public and ensuring the safety of the firefighters themselves.
Labor unions file federal suit challenging Michigan's right-to-work legislation
“In their haste to enact right to work, the Legislature overreached,” said Andrew Nickelhoff, general counsel for the Michigan AFL-CIO. “This only deals with the act that affect private sector employees because they’re covered under federal labor law.” The lawsuit names the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, Steve Arwood, the director of the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy as defendants.
EDITORIAL: Bring up right to work
It’s time to reject the federal preference for forced unionizing
Taking reform one much-needed step further, Indiana and Michigan have enacted right-to-work laws. A Missouri House committee began consideration of a bill that would make the state the 25th in the nation to guarantee the right of employees to decide whether or not to join or financially support a union, though the measure faces the opposition of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. These laws basically ensure no person can be compelled as a condition of employment to join or pay dues to a labor union.
Mo. House committee debates 'right to work' bill
Minority Leader Jake Hummel, an electrician and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, participated in the hearing. Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder watched the testimony, along with House Speaker Tim Jones, who is a co-sponsor of the bill but said in December it would be hard to pass right-to-work legislation without support from the governor's office.
Statehouse Live: Labor groups suffer blow in Kansas House
Rep. John Wilson, D-Lawrence, voted against the bill, saying the measure was an “overtly political attack to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.” But Rep. Reid Petty, R-Liberal, described the bill as “pro teacher.” According to Petty, “It gives teachers a right to decide where their money is spent.”