What’s Paycheck Protection Really All About?

A lot of ink has been spilled on paycheck protection already, but few people have summarized its essence as well as my colleague Katrina Anderson, CF’s Director of Government Affairs, in a televised debate with Keystone Research Center (video courtesy of PCN):

Union members like Malinda Smith are being hurt by their union bosses’ politics, and have little or no say in how their dues are spent. And spent they are: the Pennsylvania State Education Association alone is poised to spend 12% of mandatory dues, or about $7 million, on politics and lobbying.  This is in addition to the millions they receive in voluntary PAC contributions.

And taxpayers are helping them collect both pots of money.

That is why, as Katrina pointed out, paycheck protection gives workers a real voice by holding union bosses accountable. Currently, the vast majority of union rank-and-file say they haven’t even heard from their state union representative, and even fewer have heard from their national union:

No wonder union members agree that taxpayers shouldn’t be collecting their duesthe union should. They recognize that this is an issue of basic fairness to all, that taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for the unions’ private political activities, and that union bosses shouldn’t enjoy legal immunity for things that land politicians in prison.

And union members, like anyone else, would like to see a union that actually represents their interests and responds to their concerns:

That is why union bosses are unwilling to discuss the merits of paycheck protection—and why the sooner we see paycheck protection become a reality, the better for teachers, workers, and all of us.

Watch the full debate here.