Jami Lund is the Freedom Foundation's Senior Policy Analyst. From 2004 to 2011, he developed legislative policy as a research analyst for the Washington House Republican Caucus. Prior to that he worked for the Freedom Foundation as the Project Manager for the Teachers Paycheck Protection project, shepherding the development of the Foundation’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court case to protect teacher rights. Jami is an accomplished speaker and researcher, one of Washington state’s top scholars on education policy and finance.
On March 23, Gov. Jay Inslee issued an order that “non-essential” businesses close and employees stay in their homes. While the Freedom Foundation takes COVID seriously and each death is tragic, the Governor’s actions are harming small businesses and the people they employ.
Teachers’ unions go to great lengths to blur the distinction between the interests of the union financial enterprise and those of families and students. Why else would they refer to an “employee gain” operation as an “education association?”
On Feb. 27, the Washington State Legislature considered whether or not citizens, public employees and journalists could observe as Gov. Jay Inslee’s team negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement with the various unions that have donated heavily to his campaign.
Much of the blame for declining education services rests with the teachers’ unions and those who allowed them to hijack the priorities and budgets of school districts.
The Attorney General of Alaska, Kevin Clarkson, recently issued an opinion about how the state needs to adjust its practices related to public employee union dues collection in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME.
The Seattle Education Association recently threatened a strike after getting a 10.5 percent pay raise last year. The Kennewick teachers union, likewise, has disrupted the start of school for children with its pay demands.
Like public employees in most Washington school districts, bus drivers, food service workers, office staff and classroom aides in the Dayton School District negotiate complicated terms of employment with the district leadership team. As a result, they are guaranteed rights, a grievance process, wage increases and progressive discipline in a written agreement with the district.