Missouri Paycheck Protection Is Back for 2016
It appears that the sponsor of last year’s paycheck protection bill will reintroduce the bill in 2016. Paycheck protection safeguards government employees’ right to choose whether their money goes to union political activity. The freedom to support only the political speech you agree with is a fundamental right protected by the first amendment. For Missouri’s government workers, this right is sometimes ignored.
Last year’s paycheck protection bill would have required government unions (such as teachers unions and unions representing state employees) to obtain permission from employees before using dues or fees for political activity. The bill would have required unions to seek permission from employees only once each year; however, for that school teacher or social worker who opposes the politics of union bosses as a matter of conscience, such protection can make a big difference.
Consider the story of Terry Bowman, who started an organization dedicated to providing a voice to union members who feel silenced and marginalized by the union political establishment. Or Andrew Palmer, a public school teacher who started Conservative Teachers of America to provide an alternative perspective on public education. Both of these men bucked the mainstream opinion of their workplaces in order to make sure their voices were heard. This can be hard to do, but it’s a lot easier when the law protects people who swim against the current.