No public policy agency in the country has more expertise when it comes to battling government employee unions. Consequently, none is better qualified to offer its opinion on pending legislation that could make the job easier.
On April 9 and April 24, respectively, the Freedom Foundation filed formal comments supporting two proposed regulations under consideration by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), which oversees collective bargaining between federal government agencies and unions representing federal employees.
The first comment involves whether the FLRA should adopt a regulation governing when federal employees may revoke their union membership and stop paying dues. Under a prior FLRA interpretation of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, employees could only cancel dues deductions from their wages at automatically renewing, one-year intervals. Under the proposed regulation, however, dues deductions may only be irrevocable for one year, and can be revoked at any time thereafter.
The Freedom Foundation enthusiastically supports the proposed regulation because it would allow federal employees to withdraw from union membership at any time after the one-year mark. Without this necessary change, employees could be stuck in a union they don’t support, paying dues for a cause they don’t believe in for years at a time.
Imagine being trapped in an organization you didn’t support, subsidizing beliefs you don’t hold and paying dues every month for the privilege? The Freedom Foundation wants to ensure that no employee would be subject to such an unjust, unconstitutional scheme.
The second Freedom Foundation comment submitted to the FLRA involves “official time,” a benefit often granted to unions that allows public employees who are also union officers to engage in union business while on the clock, effectively forcing taxpayers to subsidize union operations. In this case, the FLRA is considering whether anti-corruption statutes prohibiting funds appropriated by Congress from being used for lobbying applies to union officers lobbying Congress on official time.
The Freedom Foundation came out strongly against taxpayer funded union lobbying. It is absurd to burden the already overtaxed public further by allowing unions, which are private organizations, to lobby on the government’s dime.
While the FLRA may take some time to determine how to resolve these two matters, we hope it ultimately does the right thing for employees and taxpayers.