The effort to protect Pennsylvania’s union members and taxpayers from union bosses is grabbing national attention in major papers. Both the Wall Street Journal (paywall) and Investor’s Business Daily have published articles urging Republicans in the General Assembly to pass long overdue paycheck protection legislation.
The WSJ outlines how paycheck protection would end government unions’ unfair political privilege, and why such a system exists in the first place:
The paycheck proposal would prohibit state and local governments from deducting dues, agency fees and political action-committee contributions from non-public-safety worker paychecks. In other words, government unions would have to directly solicit worker contributions like everyone else.
Public unions in Pennsylvania and most states are currently able to get automatic dues deductions as part of collective bargaining. They get that power from the same politicians the unions help elect, so unions sit on both sides of the bargaining table.
The IBD editorial rejects the notion that paycheck protection is an attack on free speech, as some unions have claimed:
If the union political activities and collective bargaining agreements are of great value to workers, they should be very willing to write a check each month, just as they do to pay utility bills and credit-card expenses.
Paycheck protection legislation would not prohibit union members from continuing to pay dues or donating to a union’s political fund; it only requires unions to collect these dollars without using taxpayer resources.
Paycheck protection seeks to level the political playing field, not stifle free speech. Everyone should be welcome to participate in the political process, but no one should be forced to support partisan politics.