The Value of Union Elections

Today, many government workers are practically “married for life” to the union representing them in their professional fields. For a variety of reasons, decertification elections—the elections that allow workers to fire a union or hire a new one—are notoriously hard to come by, and that bias toward the status quo can be a serious problem for workers when an incumbent union fails to do its job well.

Union President Agrees That Union Elections Lead to Greater Accountability

Bradley Harmon, president of CWA Local 6355—a union representing state government employees—recently testified before a legislative committee against a union election bill. Although he was there to offer his opposition to the bill, he ended up admitting that the elections he opposes actually make unions more accountable to the workers they represent. See the clip, recorded by Progress Missouri, above.

Courts Should Avoid Setting Policy in Columbia Schools

The Columbia Public School District (CPS) and the union representing teachers in the district, the Columbia Missouri National Education Association (CMNEA), are embroiled in a labor dispute. The union wants a labor agreement with a pay increase for its members, while the district, in a tight place financially, wants to keep costs down. Unfortunately, because of recent court decisions, the courts might get involved here, substituting their judgment for that of the negotiators.

Surprising No One, Big Government Union Wants State to Spend More

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 72 (AFSCME), a big government union representing various health, service, and maintenance personnel employed by the state government, is complaining about state employee compensation. The claim that Missouri ranks 50th for state worker pay is at the crux of their argument. This point is wildly misleading.

Study Slams Missouri for Lack of Transparency Regarding Release Time

It’s no secret that public agencies in Missouri routinely allow for “release time,” which is paid time off from official duties to allow a government employee to perform union business. However, a recent study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) found that Missouri public agencies often fail to track or disclose release time records, making the amount of release time actually used in Missouri impossible to calculate.

Teachers' Union Gets Collective Bargaining Wrong

Last week someone forwarded me this pamphlet from the Missouri National Education Association (MNEA) on collective bargaining for teachers. It’s a well-put-together brochure that explains the MNEA’s position on a pretty complicated issue. While I applaud the union for producing a primer on an area of public policy I think most people do not know a whole lot about, I take issue with a few of the points they make.