Dave Weston: It’s time for state government to stop collecting union dues
By DAVE WESTON
Authored by Rep. Tom Newell, the landmark House Bill 1749 has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives and is slated to be heard by the Senate. Modeled after the legislative victory by Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature, HB 1749 will end the automatic payroll deductions of dues by public sector unions, a long-standing practice across the country that is quickly coming to an end.
These types of unions often use their dues to pay lobbyists who in turn pressure the state legislature for increasingly higher appropriations. In essence, taxpayers are paying the salaries of expensive lobbyists who in turn argue for more taxpayer dollars. What’s more, these unions use the dues to dump millions of dollars into political campaigns to support liberal-regressive candidates who they know will be in favor of milking us as taxpayers for more of our hard-earned dollars. That this is a conflict of interest is obvious.
Among the most egregious, the Oklahoma Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, two of the largest public unions in the state, use high-pressure work-site tactics to take money directly from teachers’ paychecks in order to lobby and campaign for more funding. The biggest problem is that these heavily funded unions block some of the most important education reforms yet to pass in Oklahoma such as school choice.
And we, the taxpayers, are funding them. In what world can this be right?