Government unions such as the NEA and SEIU lobbied for passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will raise the cost of health care through various mandates and 20 different taxes, taking more than $500 billion from taxpayers between 2012-2022 or $6,363 per family of four. Aren’t unions supposed to be champions of the middle class?
In 2012 and 2013, the National Education Association gave $250,000 to Health Care for America Now!—a group lobbying for Obamacare. But union help did not end there. The Service Employees International Union launched $12 million in television ads supporting the law.
Today, SEIU is one of a few major national unions to remain vocally supportive of the Affordable Care Act, as the AFL-CIO, Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), and others have criticized the law for threatening the 40 hour work week.
The law’s new mandates and taxes have caused almost 500 PA school employees to lose their jobs or have their hours reduced.
However, the ACA is just one example of the many policies public sector unions support that harm working families:
Higher taxes: Due to Pennsylvania’s unsustainable pension system, property taxes are estimated to increase by about $900 per household each year or districts will be forced to lay off one third of Pennsylvania’s teachers, absent any pension reform. Yet, public unions refuse to even contemplate reform, arguing there is no immediate crisis and frightening their members by falsely claiming workers will outright lose their pensions.
Failing schools: Teacher unions are fighting to keep at-risk children in violent and failing schools. Public unions are now suing the Philadelphia school district for hiring back teachers based on merit rather than seniority. And the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers has placed a $40 million grant from the Gates Foundation in jeopardy after revoking their support of a teacher evaluation system.
Defending government waste: Unions oppose choice and convenience for Pennsylvanians, spending $1 million on dishonest ads to protect the state liquor monopoly. Keep this in mind as unions defend a system that wastes tax dollars by airing 20,594 radio commercials and 6,181 TV commercials advertising alcohol, just last year.
Threatening well-paying jobs: The Marcellus shale boom has created over 200,000 direct and indirect jobs for Pennsylvania workers. Public unions successfully lobbied for a severance tax on natural gas companies amounting to $400 million in two years. Now they are demanding a higher severance tax, putting many jobs in jeopardy.