VIDEO: Government Union Collective Bargaining 101

Are you a bit hazy on why government employee unions are a problem? If so the Heritage Foundation has made a great video to help you understand the deal. It’s a sort of Government Unions 101.

The Heritage Foundation also has a great fact sheet to help you learn more.

Here are some of the points on that list:

  • Risking Public Services: When government unions strike, they can deprive citizens of essential services–such as education for children–until demands are met.
  • Unions Once Rejected: Early labor leaders didn’t believe unions belonged in government. In 1955, George Meany, then-president of the AFL-CIO, said: “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” In 1959 the AFL-CIO Executive Council declared, “In terms of accepted collective bargaining procedures, government workers have no right beyond the authority to petition Congress–a right available to every citizen.”
  • FDR: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) gave unions extensive powers to bargain collectively in the private sector but excluded them from government. FDR believed collective bargaining had no place in public service and that a government strike was “unthinkable and intolerable.”
  • Leverage over Government: Granting unions a monopoly over work done in government gives unions enormous leverage over budgets and taxes. Unions use this power to raise taxes and get more of the budget spent on them.
  • Inflated Government Pay: Government unions win above-market compensation for their members. The average government employee enjoys better health benefits, better pensions, better job security, and an earlier retirement than the average private-sector worker, although cash wages are typically not inflated at the state or local level.
  • Forced Union Dues: In the 28 non-right-to-work states, unions negotiate provisions that force government employees to pay union dues or get fired. This brings government unions billions of dollars.
  • Politicized Civil Service: Government unions have the power to elect the management they negotiate with, so they spend heavily to elect politicians who promise them concessions. Government unions were the top political spenders, outside the two major parties, in the 2010 election cycle.

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