Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Washington State Unhinged!

The Washington State Personnel System Reform Act of 2002 allows public-sector unions to negotiate wage and hour guidelines for employees. The governor’s office and representatives of nearly twenty public-sector unions negotiated the first collective bargaining agreements in 2004. Governor Gregoire’s newly-released budget funds these agreements. This is the Governor who won election in a hotly contested battle in which illegal voting occurred which put her over the top after she initially lost. The contracts include a mechanism known as a “union security clause,” which requires all employees of a bargaining unit to pay for union representation, regardless of whether they actually become members. Dues are set at 1.37 percent of an employee’s salary, up to about $55 dollars a month. Those who do not wish to join the union will still be required to pay a “fair share” fee equal to the normal dues amount. Employees who refuse to authorize the dues deduction from their paycheck will face termination, as indicated in the contract negotiated by the union. The Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) downplays the reality of the mandatory dues scheme. In a flyer passed out to state employees, the WFSE insists that employees who do not pay union dues will be “asked to contribute” the fair share fee. The flyer fails to mention that employees who decline will be terminated at the union’s demand. The Federation made more than $280,000 in cash contributions in the 2004 elections, and many state workers do not want to be forced to support a particular political agenda in order to keep their jobs. A whopping 75% of their contributions went to elect Gregoire!

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