Union Executives’ Hypocrisy

Union Executives’ Hypocrisy

Union Executives’ Hypocrisy

I’ve noticed some examples of the hypocrisy in union officials’ agenda.  Here is what they seem to be saying:

“Tax loopholes are bad—except ours.”

Unions are essentially a financial enterprise selling the service of workplace representation to a captive clientele. They are private organizations governed by essentially no consumer protection regulations.

They capitalize on their position by partnering to sell insurance products to the clients who have little choice. When they talk about “the rich” being favored in laws and policies, union executives with their often stunning salaries certainly qualify as both.

And they are exempt from taxes, as we have written about before.

Unions leading the charge to close tax loopholes should lead by example
Union tax break hypocrisy continues to unravel
Government unions get a taxpayer loophole

“The court should block the Freedom Foundation’s access to public records—but should allow ours.”

The SEIU is suing to block the Freedom Foundation’s access to the basic contact information for those who the Supreme Court freed from forced SEIU fees. We feel they should know, and SEIU filed a lawsuit (two, actually) to prevent our access to public records.

But wait a minute, SEIU actually received identical records when it was lobbying to capture a piece of the revenue stream for childcare subsidies by organizing these providers.

“Wages for starting teachers are too low—and we work to keep it that way.”

As I work through my analysis of the union contracts binding the largest school districts in the state, I repeatedly notice that old teachers are particularly mean to young teachers.

Bellevue, Issaquah and Snohomish union officials take from the state-intended salary of young teachers and give to old teachers. Many districts like Seattle and Tacoma give bigger levy-funded wage enhancements to older teachers or give additional “longevity” bonuses. 

All districts have contracts that lay off young teachers as the first line of budget cuts.

I’ve written before about how the flat rate the WEA uses for dues is regressive and harms younger teachers, and who could forget when the Legislature gave starting teachers a pay raise and WEA sued to block it?

This week, I read a report that might explain why: The average age of union activists is 49, and only 8 percent of them are under the age of 35.

The point? What unions say they are doing and what they actually do often do not match.

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.