Senator John H. Eichelberger Jr.'s bill for paycheck protection protects the rights of individual government workers. It is pro-taxpayer, and it is just good government.
If it is passed, government workers can decide for themselves whether they want to pay union dues. Taxpayers will no longer have to pay for the automatic deduction of the dues from paychecks and direct payment to the unions.
The Morrison Cove Republican Club supports the bill's immediate passage.
We also support the recent action taken by Blair County Commissioners Terry Tomassetti and Diane Meling passing a resolution in favor of paycheck protection. The time has come to eliminate the use of public resources for political and partisan purposes. It is not right that the taxes paid by state and county residents are spent to support the politics of public sector employee unions.
It requires one Blair County payroll employee to work one full day every two-week pay period to calculate the deductions for union dues and political action contributions for the employees of each of the county's five unions.
Over a year, that comes to about 10 percent of the payroll employee's annual salary and benefits being spent for unions which then uses some of the money deducted for supporting candidates and policies the union supports.
Why should taxpayers have to pay for special interest treatment of public unions? The unions are certainly not a charity, deserving of some special privilege.
Public sector unions engage in and spend money on political and partisan activity. The five largest government unions in Pennsylvania including PSEA, AFSME, UFCS, SEIU and PFT reported spending almost $5 million of dues money on political activities and lobbying in 2012 according to U.S. Department of Labor Organization Annual Reports.
The PSEA reported in its June/July 2013 newsletter that 12 percent of its membership dues for the 2013/2014 membership year would be used for lobbying and political expenses. It is not fair that taxpayers' money is used to pay for the collection of dues which end up being used for political purposes.
It is a crime for politicians and elected officials to use public resources for politics. Judges and legislators have been convicted of these crimes. Why, then, should public sector unions be allowed to use the same public resources for their political agenda?
We are not against public unions collectively bargaining over wages, benefits and working conditions. That is their right. We are against the special treatment public unions receive at the taxpayers' expense. Public unions need to stand on their own. It is the American way.
Morrison Cove Blair County Republican Club