You shouldn’t have to join a union if you don’t want to. But that’s exactly what happens to teachers in states that don’t have right-to-work laws.
A friend on mine who is a history teacher in non-right-to-work Boston, Massachusetts complains about the dues automatically deducted from his paycheck. He has stood up in meetings to complain about the lack of freedom.
When Becky and I see him and his wife on Friday in Boston, I’ll tell him that there’s still hope. Teachers in Wisconsin, thanks to Governor Scott Walker’s reforms, have a choice whether to join or not. They have voted with their feet/wallet, gutting public sector union membership—now comprising 8.3% of workers in Wisconsin, down from 14.2%. Isn’t freedom great?
Expect the GOP to roll out right-to-work laws in the months ahead especially now that they will control the state houses and legislatures in 30 states in 2017. The cozy relationship between our elected politicians, public sector unions, and your tax money, needs to be broken. There is no better example than the work done by Walker of Wisconsin. The Badger state is open for business, as explained here in the WSJ.
Union reforms and right-to-work laws aren’t the only drivers of economic growth, but they do attract many businesses that won’t consider operating in states without them. The reduction in union power has stabilized public finances that were spiraling upward. This in turn gives businesses confidence that they won’t be hit with tax increases year after year, a la Illinois, Connecticut and other states where politics is still dominated by the nexus of public-union donations and government officials.
In 2016 Forbes ranked Wisconsin the 27th state in the country for business, up from 40th in 2011. A survey of CEOs by the Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce found that 84% say the state is heading in the right direction.
In 2011 Mr. Walker’s union reforms and the public Battle of Madison looked like a huge political risk. This year the GOP added two seats to its state Senate majority, which is now 20-13, and one in the Assembly (64 to 35). Break up the duopoly of politicians and government unions, and good things can happen.