Hands Off! Protecting Paychecks From Union Bosses
Last year major labor law reform centered on Right to Work laws. Both Indiana and Michigan passed the commonsense reform that prohibits union security agreements, or contract provisions allowing unions to force employees to pay it dues as a condition of employment.
Now in 2013, Paycheck Protection legislation is shaping up to be the hot button labor policy circulating around the country’s statehouses. Like Right to Work the concept behind Paycheck Protection is straightforward—it prevents government employers from deducting union dues, which support union political activities, from employees’ paycheck without their express written consent.
One reason the provisions are so popular as Kevin Mooney, Watchdog.org journalist pointed out in Netrightdaily.com, “The proposals figure into a larger national movement built around state initiatives that would prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to support political candidates and public policy proposals aligned with the preferences of organized labor.”
So far in 2013 Kansas has already passed such legislation, unfortunately only covering public school teachers.
On April 1st, Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2022 into law. The legislation restricts teachers unions from coercing fees from public employees for partisan political activity without their consent. Also, if a union wishes to continue political activity it must create a separate political fund (funded only through voluntary donations), which is segregated from its regularly assessed dues.
Below is a roundup of other states with pending Paycheck Protection bills:
Protect Arizona Employees’ Paychecks Act or Senate Bill 1182 requires the annual written consent of the public employee to authorize automatic payroll deductions. Currently the bill has stalled in the upper chamber, according to the Western Free Press this is due to “intense pressure by union representatives and lobbyists.”
After an eight hour filibuster the Missouri Senate passed Senate Bill 29. The Sunshine state’s version of Paycheck Protection permits government unions to deduct fees from public employee paychecks only after gaining the annual written consent of the employee. In addition, the bill would require the employee’s annual consent for public-sector unions to spend fees and dues for political activity.
SB 20 has passed through two committees in the MO House and should be up for a floor vote in the near future, but could face a veto from Democrat Governor Jay Nixon.
Companion bills SB 490 and HB 502 were both introduced on January 30 but have yet to have any votes in committee or otherwise. The legislation would mandate government unions fund political activities only through voluntary donations from members and deposit the contributions in a separate account from regularly collected dues.