Skip to comments.(WA) Legislature helps unions with PR problem
Posted on 02/09/2006 2:13:35 PM PST by truth49
Washington state employee unions have a bit of a public relations problem on their hands.
First the unions were loudly criticized in 2004 for not adequately notifying public employees of a vote to approve their new collective bargaining agreements, which requires payment of dues as a condition of employment. In one union vote, only 6,133 of the 30,000 workers affected by the new contract actually voted.
Then hundreds of ungrateful employees attempted to decertify their unions. The unions just couldnt understand why these workers objected to being forced to pay to keep their jobs. They couldnt grasp why it might bother employees to have their dues money go to political campaigns with which they disagreed on religious and/or political grounds.
Now the unions are catching flack for calling for the firing of all state workers who refuse to sign their union cards and pay up. Unfortunately for Washington taxpayers, the fired employees arent your run-of-the-mill state bureaucrats. Many are model workers with numerous commendations.
Olympia resident Pat Woodward was a state employee for 22 years. The 64-year-old received many commendations and was proud of the work she did as a financial analyst at the Department of Licensing. She was one of the first to be fired.
I was unable to believe the threat of termination, says Woodward. I knew I was a good employee, respectful and polite to my coworkers. All my evaluations were good. I have received many awards and recognitions.
The Yakima Herald-Republic recently highlighted another state worker fired: Cathy Munson, an 18-year employee with the state Department of Agriculture, whose latest performance review was glowing. The newspaper reported: Munson objects to the union security clause because she says it was ratified by a small minority of die-hard union members, leaving large numbers of the rank-and-file in the dark. She told the reporter, At some point I just decided I had to say, 'That's enough.' Otherwise, I'm worthless.
Getting rid of excellent, capable employees was bound to cause a public relations nightmare, but a cadre of union allies in the state legislature is riding to the rescue. Two bills, one in the House (HB 2807) and one in the Senate (SB 6644), have been proposed to give unions direct access to employee paychecks. Unions would no longer be required to ask permission from state employees to deduct union dues from their paychecks.
What a convenient solution to an inconvenient public relations problem! Too bad it comes at the expense of workers rights and paychecks. Perhaps the legislature should work on keeping good employees rather than making it easier for unions to pick workers pockets.
Then hundreds of ungrateful employees attempted to decertify their unions.
Mao is that you?
Sounds like a really fun place to work for the state. Maybe the union will cut their grass, wash their cars, etc. I smell lots of litte lawsuits being formed as this state continues to slide towards socialism. Sad state of affairs too!
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