Failed recall the death knell for ‘agency shop?’

Jun 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Spotlight, Unions
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Absent spending reform and discipline, California has 3 alternatives.

Nowhere to go but down for public-sector unions

Charles Krauthammer | Quad-City Times
Tuesday, June 5, 2012, will be remembered as the beginning of the long decline of the public-sector union. It will follow, and parallel, the shrinking of private-sector unions, now down to less than 7 percent of American workers…

The ultimate significance of Walker’s union reforms has been largely misunderstood…

But as the recall campaign progressed, the Democrats stopped talking about bargaining rights. It was a losing issue. Walker was able to make the case that years of corrupt union-politician back-scratching had been bankrupting the state. And he had just enough time to demonstrate the beneficial effects of overturning that arrangement…

But the real threat behind all this was that the new law ended automatic government collection of union dues. That was the unexpressed and politically inexpressible issue. Without the thumb of the state tilting the scale by coerced collection, union membership became truly voluntary. Result? Newly freed members rushed for the exits. In less than one year, AFSCME, the second largest public-sector union in Wisconsin, has lost more than 50 percent of its membership.

It was predictable…(Full text at Quad-City Times)

Notwithstanding my brief stint on the CCPOA Executive Council, I have always been forthright in acknowledging I would not have been a CCPOA member were it not for the State’s agency shop policy–I daresay a majority of state workers would have similarly passed on a union card, as evidenced by the halving of AFSCME’s Wisconsin ranks.

To date, the Bargaining Units have had nothing to fear: The labor-loving Democrats would never permit a bill squashing agency shop out of committee.  In fact, such a bill wouldn’t get that far–It would die for lack of sponsors.

Which isn’t to say the Republicans could be expected to repeal mandatory unionism because both parties have grown used to the support, read cash, of the union structure they created.  Agency shop is the cash cow, gold laying goose, money tree (etc.) of state politics.

Given that, all that stands between Wisconsin-style reforms and California is a referendum.  AND, it’s only a question of time before such a measure qualifies for the ballot.

Of course, there’s always a chance California voters will reject a referendum as did Ohio voters last November.  There, to the surprise of very few, high level conservative operatives switched sides and walked point for the unions (See: Ohio GOP Chairman DeWine’s media advisor helped kill Ohio public union reform).  There’s the rub.  Just ask Mitch Daniels.

Yesterday, the Ohio Governor made a forceful argument against public sector collective bargaining on Chris Wallace’s Fox News Sunday.

” I think the message is that, first of all, voters are seeing the  fundamental unfairness of government becoming its own special interest group,  sitting on both sides of the table. And they are also noticing with sadness that  when fundamental services — education and health care and others are diminished  because so much money is devoured by very high salaries and higher than those  than the taxpayers are earning and more generous benefits, almost bullet-proof  job protection and huge pension.”( Fox News.com)

The bottom line is everyone benefits from agency shop here in California.  Everyone, that is,  except the tax payers who foot the bill for unions greasing palms.  And yet, tax payers are a growing minority who share the right to vote with tax consumers–Get enough non-producers to the polls and the status quo prevails.

Which is to say, California’s state bargaining units have nothing to worry about–When the state ship goes under, it will do so with an agency shop crew.

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4 Comments to “Failed recall the death knell for ‘agency shop?’”

  1. Capn Crunch says:

    If the Unions had not made it so easy to get their monies via payroll deductions they would only have half the members. When a member is required to pay his own then when he gets mad he won’t. If members of CCPOA paid their own CCPOA would have been BK by now over the MJ scandel.

  2. kl2008a says:

    If it went to vote today to eliminate union representation for public service workers my Lucky 8 Ball said it would definetly pass. The populace is tired and feels that the Govt is always ripping them off. The Govt – being politicians and public employees – City, County, State, and Fed. To get an idea about the public feels about Govt workers go stand in line at DMV or any County’s business window and listen to the comments. They are not pretty or appreciative. Most of the public think that Govt employees should make nothing more than mimimum wage of slightly above. With the current entitlement mindset the public wants to demand that the Govt to give, give, give. They want public service and believe it should be done through public servitude. They hate the Govt workers yet demand more and more services from them. So, yep, union representation for public service workers has one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel.

  3. Bob Walsh says:

    For better or worse, that ship may sink sooner than one would think. If the legislature doesn’t get its head out of its ass (which nobody really thinks is going to happen) and if the Brown tax plan doesn’t pass (which is a realistic possibility) the formerly great state of California may become insolvent at the end of this calendar year. Even if the Brown plan does pass it is unlikely in the extreme to bring in the hoped-fro revenue. The state really is at the edge of the precipice. What is going to happen when the state actually runs out of money? Will prisoners (and hospital patients) become irksome when they are fed rice and beans three times a day? What will happen when CalFire can’t fight fires due to lack of fuel? Will PG&E turn off the utilities for non-payment? Some form of this is waiting in the bushes just down the road, waiting to jump out and bite US on the butt.

    • Howie Katz says:

      Hey guys, move to Texas! While we also have some state and local financial problems, we’ll still be solvent at the end of the year. We still favor the death penalty and are executing murderers. We don’t have the gun restrictions California has. Since 1994, all elected state office holders have been Republicans and we haven’t had a Democratic U.S. Senator for years. While salaries here are not as high as in California, neither is the cost of living here and housing is relatively cheap compared to the Golden State. So come on down partners!