Union Bosses Cashing in At The Legislature

Union Bosses Cashing in At The Legislature

Union Bosses Cashing in At The Legislature

If you were an executive in an industry that spent millions of dollars electioneering to capture control of the state legislature, what would you do once those you helped won control of the House, Senate and governor’s office?

You’d demand a return on your investment. And that’s exactly what the heads of Washington’s public-sector unions are doing.

In just the first week of the 2019 legislative session, scores of bills have been introduced to grow the number of dues payers, make it easier for unions to get their way and increase taxes to pay for it all.

The priorities of government union executives include:

  • collecting millions of dollars in dues to grow the union bureaucracy and power;
  • marketing to their customers and the public a myth of class struggle to divert attention from the business of dues collection;
  • changing laws to make their workplace representation responsibilities easier by increasing the cost, decreasing the workloads and eliminating accountability in government; and,
  • working on resolving workplace issues though guidance and negotiations.

So what are the bills these executives at AFSCME, SEIU, WEA, the Teamsters and others demanded be introduced into the legislative mix right away?

Growing the union revenue

Evidently, there are still a few more public employees who haven’t yet been dragged into the dues-paying fold.

  • HB 1299/SB 5297 — Extending collective bargaining to assistant attorneys general – as if attorneys are incapable of managing their own workplace legal issues!
  • HB 1333 — Extending collective bargaining to certain court employees
  • HB 1452 — Extending collective bargaining to employees of the legislature – ironically, this could provide lawmakers an unanticipated education on the implications of collective bargaining in government.

Controlling management

  • SB 5169 — Permitting unfair labor practice complaints against public employers for insufficient neutrality regarding unions.
  • SB 5295 — Requiring contractors working with the Department of Social and Health Services to facilitate efforts by unions to organize their employees or face fines or debarring.
  • HB 1079 — Adding a faculty member to the board of regents at the research universities – Because why bother negotiating with management, when you can simply force managers to put your special interest on the management team?

In addition to these are many bills to enrich benefits, pensions and increase the number of employees in various service areas. Likewise, a host of bills have been introduced to raise taxes.

Just in the first seven days.

Senior Policy Analyst
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.