Striking story from the Daily Signal.
Ohio’s largest labor union is in the business of selling worker “solidarity,” and for union bosses, business is good.
Ohio Education Association president Becky Higgins was paid $209,039 to preside over a union that took member dues and mandatory fees from 121,625 teachers during the fiscal year ending Aug. 31.
Regular OEA dues for full-time teachers are $504—$42 a month—in addition to local OEA chapter dues and $183 in National Education Association dues sent to NEA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Union staff and officers working for OEA’s Columbus headquarters were paid an average of $109,789 with money taken from teachers’ paychecks; Ohio teachers were paid an average of $55,916 during the 2013-14 school year, according to the Ohio Department of Education.
For some reason, Ohio, under liberal governor John Kasich, has not yet followed other midwestern states and enacted a right to work law. Right to work laws allow teachers to work without being forced to pay dues to labor unions. Although Ohio doesn’t have a right to work law yet, one is being drafted now. Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states all have right to work laws already. Kentucky and West Virginia have laws in the works.
Why should Christians and conservatives care about all the money that is taken from the paychecks of teachers for their unions?
Most unions donate almost exclusively to Democrats
This Wall Street Journal article explains that unions donate mostly to Democrats.
Corporations and their employees… tend to spread their donations fairly evenly between the two major parties, unlike unions, which overwhelmingly assist Democrats. In 2008, Democrats received 55% of the $2 billion contributed by corporate PACs and company employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Labor unions were responsible for $75 million in political donations, with 92% going to Democrats.
So how much money are we talking about?
To see how much unions control government, take a look at this story from National Review, written by economist Veronique to Rugy.
- The top campaign donor of the last 25 years is ActBlue, an online political-action committee dedicated to raising funds for Democrats. ActBlue’s political contributions, which total close to $100 million, are even more impressive when one realizes that it was only launched in 2004. That’s $100 million in ten years.
- Fourteen labor unions were among the top 25 political campaign contributors.
- Three public-sector unions were among the 14 labor groups: the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; the National Education Association; and the American Federation of Teachers. Their combined contributions amount to $150 million, or 15 percent of the top 25’s approximately $1 billion in donations since 1989.
- Public- and private-sector unions contributed 55.6 percent — $552 million — of the top 25’s contributions.
Where does the money go? The Daily Caller notes:
“Nearly all of labor’s 2012 donations to candidates and parties – 90 percent – went to Democrats,” the report from CRP concluded. “Public sector unions, which include employees at all levels of government, donated $14.7 million to Democrats in 2014.”
Although unions helped a great deal in the past to protect workers from unfair practices, their primary function now seems to be to confiscate money from their members to give to themselves and to Democrats. When we make the collection of union dues optional, then unions will have to be more responsive to their members, and less responsive to their Democrat allies.