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Demand Rising for Union Transparency and Choice

The Devil at Our Doorstep and blogs such as Rank and File Union Membership Post Victories, SEIU Watch and Michigan Kickoff are committed to publicizing the stories of employees across the nation that have been impacted by, or are taking steps to fight back against, Big Labor’s control tactics of forced unionism and forced dues. Much of these “membership” dues are utilized for political purposes instead of for the benefit of the membership. But people are fighting back. “Mariam the Mighty,” an immigrant from Egypt, now works for the State of California’s Department of Motor vehicles (DMV). As a member of a state agency, she is required to have membership in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Mariam has expressed her concern that unions were the primary downfall of her home country and she did not want to see the same thing happen in the United States of America! Subsequently, she started a movement against the union, Occupy SEIU, and is committed to having the SEIU Exposed.

Mariam’s latest movement is titled “Transparency and Choice,” and it is an effort to require California’s public employee unions to post an itemized version of its budget and financials online, making it accessible to the membership. Additionally, the proposal would require public unions to hold an election every two years to determine if the current labor union should continue to represent the membership or allow workers to select another public employee union to takes its place if they wanted to remain unionized. It is apparent that public employees in California are fed up with the union monopoly and Want Change Now. California Assemblywoman Shannon Grove is Supporting Mariam and her Coalition in achieving their objectives and in limiting the political power that unions have in the state of California. Mariam’s coalition hopes to obtain 1 Million signatures by March 31, 2016 by having members go to www.TransparencyAndChoice.com and sign the petition.

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Once again union members are intent on the Big Labor Racket Being Exposed. They realize Big Labor is not in business for the membership, but rather to Collect Money for its Political Interests. I sincerely hope that all who read this blog will help Mariam and her coalition achieve their objectives by spreading the word on their efforts, and getting the media to bring public attention to their cause. After all, this is just the beginning of California moving towards becoming a “Right to Work” state, which the majority of states now have implemented into law. For more information, read Big Labor’s Rollercoaster of Emotions and Public Unions on the Precipice, chronicling public unions’ desperate attempts to maintain forced unionism and dues to keep the Democratic Party in place and avoid the demise of public sector unions.

Read:  Shannon Grove Pushes Plan to Make Unions More Accountable to its Members

It is imperative that we bring attention to causes like those of Mariam. Together we can eliminate the SEIU’s Persuasion of Power and bring forth “Right to Work” to protect employees across the country.

About the Author: David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Rejecting Grandpa’s Union

Good luck getting a recertification bill passed in a state legislature owned and operated by the California Teachers Association.

Republican California State Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, representing the 34th district (mostly Kern County), has come up a couple of interesting bills. (H/T Steve Frank.) AB 2753 would “require California’s public employee unions to post an itemized version of its budget online, making it accessible for its members.” A second bill, AB 2754, would “require public unions to hold an election every two years to determine if the current labor union should continue to represent its members. The election would also allow workers to select another public employee union to take its place.”

While both bills are laudable, I do see problems with AB 2753. There are too many money laundering tricks that unions can use for the bill to be truly effective. But AB 2754 is a doozy. It would make unions much more accountable to their members because they wouldn’t have an eternal mandate as they do now. The unions representing teachers and other public employees in California rose to power in the 1970s, and have never been recertified. How many current workers are still employed from that time? Few, if any.

Pennsylvania is also dealing with the issue. As Watchdog.org’s Evan Grossman writes, “Less than 1 percent of Pennsylvania public school teachers have formally approved of the unions representing them, and teachers unions from Erie to Philadelphia have not been elected by their members for more than four decades.” A policy brief from the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank in the Keystone State, tackles the subject. “In presidential and congressional races, Americans are accustomed to selecting leaders every two to four years. For labor organizations, which affect every aspect of government employees’ working lives, regular elections should also be mandatory.” In fact, The Washington Free Beacon’s Bill McMorris writes, “there is a bill before the (Pennsylvania) state senate that would allow for regular recertification elections ‘no less than every four years’ or when collective bargaining agreements expire.”

Now it is true that a union can be decertified by its members, but it is an onerous process that is doomed to fail, especially in big cities where the unions are powerful. Patrick Semmens, a spokesman for the National Right to Work Foundation, explains that regular recertification “would also remove obstacles that workers face when they try to decertify a union. The process can be derailed through stalling tactics and other procedural hurdles that ordinary workers face.” Semmens adds, “Regular recertification elections would be a positive step towards checking union forced dues powers.”

What happens when unions have to regularly recertify? In Wisconsin, Scott Walker’s Act 10 made unions go through the process on a yearly basis. Figures from 2015 reveal that over 100 public school unions in Wisconsin have voted to decertify in the past two years.

Now for the bad news. Getting any kind of union reform bill through the legislature in Sacramento, especially one that would interrupt the union’s gravy train, let alone derail it, has little chance of passage. Let’s face it – CTA pretty much owns the legislature. As former California State Senate leader Dom Perata has said, the union considers itself “the co-equal fourth branch of government.” Nevertheless, Ms. Grove is to be commended for her effort, and it will be interesting to see how the unions spread their poison in the legislature and, just as importantly, how they spin the bill to the public.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.