2014 Session: Government Unions on Defense

2014 Session: Government Unions on Defense

2014 Session: Government Unions on Defense

The 2014 legislative session ended last week. It was a solid start for our new legislative labor reform efforts.

We achieved our primary goal for this session by forcing government unions to play defense. Because of our efforts, union lobbyists had to appear before Republican Senate committees and testify against reasonable proposals supported by union workers.

The Washington Federation of State Employees urged its members to oppose what it called “Wisconsin-style attack bills.” In a letter circulated to lawmakers, the Washington State Labor Council decried the “profound number of bills” it claims came “straight out of the playbooks written by ALEC and the Freedom Foundation.” 

Many thanks to all who supported our efforts, especially those union members whose testimony provided a critical contrast to the union executives claiming to speak on their behalf.

Footage from the hearings and our responses to union testimony are available in the blog posts below:

Union Bosses Oppose Public Records Access, Kill SB6250 – Review of hearings on SB6250, creating an online public database of public sector collective bargaining agreements.

With Great Union Power Comes No Responsibility – Review of hearing on SB6300, requiring public sector unions to report the same financial data private sector unions must file.

Union Executives Defend Their Monopoly – Review of hearing on SB6053, prohibiting unions from charging non-members for more than workplace representation.

Are Unions Democratic? Not if You Want to Get Out – Review of hearing on SB6244, expanding the time window in which workers may file to change unions or decertify from 30 to 90 days.

Unions Support Transparency, Except When it Applies to Them – Review of hearing on SB6183, making collective bargaining sessions open meetings.

Director of Research and Government Affairs
As the Freedom Foundation’s Director of Research and Government Affairs, Maxford Nelsen leads the team working to advance the Freedom Foundation’s mission through strategic research, public policy advocacy, and labor relations. Max regularly testifies on labor issues before legislative bodies and his research has formed the basis of several briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. Max’s work has been published in local newspapers around the country and in national outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Hill, National Review, and the American Spectator. His work on labor policy issues has been featured in media outlets like the New York Times, Fox News, and PBS News Hour. He is a frequent guest on local radio stations like 770 KTTH and 570 KVI. From 2019-21, Max was a presidential appointee to the Federal Service Impasses Panel within the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which resolves contract negotiation disputes between federal agencies and labor unions. Prior to joining the Freedom Foundation in 2013, Max worked for WashingtonVotes.org and the Washington Policy Center and interned with the Heritage Foundation. Max holds a labor relations certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated magna cum laude from Whitworth University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. A Washington native, he lives in Olympia with his wife and sons.