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Legislature Discusses Public Employee Unions

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

There is a push in Topeka to prevent unions from collecting funds from employee paychecks for political activities. The local teacher's union calls it union busting.

The United Teachers of Wichita calls this an attack on public sector workers, not just teachers, but firefighters and police, too.

"We would have no voice," said UTW President Randy Mousley. "I truly believe that is what the point of this is."

House Bill 2023 would limit the ability of unions to collect money from employee's paychecks for political activities. The teachers union believes once a teacher is paid, they should be able to do whatever they want with their money.

"Senator (Susan) Wagle has insulted every public employee in the state," Mousley explained. "If the taxpayers of Kansas need protection from anyone, it's politicians like Senator Wagle."

Wagle is on the Senate Commerce Committee that is considering the House bill. It would end the practice of allowing government employers to automatically collect contributions for unions, including teachers. It is similar to legislation that was successful in Wisconsin last year.

"There is a group of people in Topeka that feel like public sector unions are the cause of problems in this state," Mousley said. "It's just unbelievable."

Mousley believes the legislature could easily go after unions collective bargaining rights if they are successful in passing HB 2023.


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