Monday, March 07, 2011

Here are some facts for the debate over public unions

When Governor Walker and the governors of other states are making their case against the public employee unions, here's a little factoid to throw into the mix.
A new report from the left-leaning Center for Public Integrity (CPI) shows union bosses would stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal salaries and Democrats would lose millions of dollars in campaign donations if governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states win their budget battles. The new CPI report calls into question union bosses’ and Democratic lawmakers’ true motives in those states, showing that they’re possibly more concerned about losing revenue and personal salary than they are with collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.

Salaries for the 10 largest unions’ bosses range from $173,000 for the United Auto Workers’ Bob King to $618,000 for Terence O’Sullivan, the president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka makes about $283,000 per year. Gerald McEntee, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), makes $480,000. The AFSCME stands to lose the most from any of the governors’ budget victories, as it’s currently the nation’s powerhouse public sector union, with around 1.5 million members nationwide.
Public-sector workers who see that mandatory amount taken out of their paycheck each month might want to ponder if they're happy paying close to half a million dollars a year for the head of AFSCME. They might enjoy having those extra dollars in their paycheck and the ability to decide for themselves whether or not they want to pay those dues. And that is a right that the Wisconsin bill gives them. The government will no longer handle the dues collecting for the union that force workers to pay out that money to go pay for their well-compensated union heads and to buy more Democratic politicians. That's the real cut that has the Democrats so nervous and so opposed to the bill.