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Government Unions, Not Winning

The Columbus Dispatch published an article yesterday detailing how Senate Bill 5 (in its current form) would impact the way Ohio and local governments bargain with public employees. The story included a quote from a familiar name:

“Our history with bargaining with the boss in the past has been difficult but productive,” Wyngaard said. “Now, there’s already been a substantial impact on morale. … This sends a major message to state employees that they’re not valued.”

Apart from wondering exactly how much state employees should be valued, note that Bruce Wyngaard is paid nearly six figures each year with dues from AFSCME Local 11 members. Public employees may have legitimate complaints about SB 5; union bosses have none. Unless you think making the relationship between government workers and the public as adversarial as possible is worthwhile!

The National Education Association sent an email Feb. 25 begging members for more money to stem the taxpayer payback the NEA was unable to prevent by blowing millions on the 2010 election:

We’re witnessing a fundamental attack on the right of public employees, including educators, to collectively bargain. Raising our collective voices at the bargaining table allows us to speak up for school safety, smaller class sizes and more services for our students. That hard-earned right is essential to the quality of our lives and the quality of public education — and it must be defended vigorously.

Emphasis mine, to highlight the NEA’s continued insistence that teachers and school districts would accomplish nothing without the union. Funny thing – this plea for $20 donations is from Karen White, who was paid $194,912 in fiscal 2010. “Send us more money, underpaid teachers! Some of us at NEA headquarters haven’t cracked the $200,000 mark yet!”

AFSCME Council 8 President John Lyall – another familiar name – has been repeating a similar line as if it’ll stop being economic hogwash after the thousandth time he says it:

This is about all working people. This is about creating jobs for the middle class – good paying jobs with benefits that allow a hard worker to provide for his or her family.

Lyall was paid $155,482 in fiscal 2009, so it’s no wonder he supports raising taxes for everyone – both the union members who pay his salary, and the rest of us who pay theirs – to keep the gravy train on the tracks.

Reading news items on the AFSCME Council 8 website, I find myself pitying the union bosses. After the Feb. 22 SB 5 rally (estimated attendance: 5,200) the AFSCME crowed “15,000 gather to defend Ohio middle class workers.” After the March 1 SB 5 rally (estimated attendance: 8,500) AFSCME declared “20,000 at Statehouse to Defend Middle Class.” It seems I’ve been too harsh on the AFSCME… they’re only promoting socialist policies like higher taxes, government-created jobs, and collectivism because they can’t count!

Cross-posted at that hero.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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