Kathie Moloney: If you are frustrated with how your union dues are spent and/or unhappy with the direction our state and taxes, it’s time to stop giving these unions millions of dollars to push their political agenda

16 Jan

Given what I’ve learned over the past 10 years about the public pension system, it has been hard for me to keep any kind of respect for public employees. I’ll admit – I think anybody who would go along with the system is a creep, and doesn’t deserve any of my consideration. Especially school teachers – I went to public school, it kills all your trust and respect for adults.

But every now and then I meet a public employee who is not a total scumbag. Once a woman followed me out of a meeting at Chico City Hall, said she hadn’t wanted to talk to me in front of her coworkers, but  didn’t explain. She told me not all public workers enjoyed the kind of Gravy Train management was on. Then she took my hand and looked directly into my eyes and said she liked my letters – “keep doing what you’re doing”, she told me, and she slipped out of sight down a hallway. 

Looking at publicpay.com, you can see, not all city employees are considered equal – the “classified” staff don’t make nearly the salaries bestowed on management, who are like some kind of royalty compared to the people who actually do the work. 

Then a county worker called me, didn’t want to identify himself, but told me county workers are not all paid that great. He also explained to me that your union rep isn’t some popular co-worker elected by his peers – the county hires the union rep, he makes a management salary, and he bargains for his own salary separately from the workers he supposedly represents. Unions are a lot more “On The Waterfront” than “Norma Rae” these days. 

So I wondered how these people felt about forced conscription into a union that does not necessarily represent your interests – or your political beliefs. Then I heard about Janus vs AFSCME – the Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that forcing employees to pay union dues is ILLEGAL. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus_v._AFSCME

 “The Supreme Court ruled that such union fees in the public sector violate the First Amendment right to free speech…”

And, they ruled that employees who had opted out of the union but still been forced to pay dues (the city of Chico collected union dues from all their paychecks) would be eligible for REFUNDS.  But I’ve been left wondering how many employees would actually ask for the refunds.

Finally today I saw a letter in the Enterprise Record from a woman who describes herself as a retired teacher and says she was forced to pay union dues. She reports that she was never even told she could opt out of the portion used for political purposes – that was the law even before Janus vs AFSCME.   I bet a lot of union employees were unaware they were being ripped off. 

Unfortunately, I think she made a very pertinent grammatical error in her letter – I think she meant to say, “CTA used a portion of these dues to fund politicians and political campaigns that I did [NOT?] support” but left out the “not”. I think the ER is a piece of shit – that’s what editors are supposed to do. It’s an obvious mistake, but the ER staff didn’t think to contact this woman?

But, Mike Wolcott contacted my husband again and again about a letter my husband had sent, telling him he had to rewrite it extensively because Wolcott didn’t like the use of the words “shack” or “dumpster diving” regarding the Simplicity Village proposal. Wolcott’s not a journalist, he’s not even a very good editor. 

Here’s the letter from Kathie Moloney, you decide for yourself what she’s trying to say. 

And I’ll apologize now for thinking all public school teachers are money-grubbing kid-haters. 

 

I am a retired educator of 34 years and was required to pay dues to CTA each month in order to work. CTA used a portion of these dues to fund politicians and political campaigns that I did support nor give money to. CTA usually endorsed liberal politicians and their agendas.

While I often appreciated my local unions representation, I was never told I had the right to opt out of a portion of my dues CTA sent to political campaigns until late in my career. Educators are getting notices in the mail on how to opt out and possibly get a refund thanks to a 2018 Supreme Court decision. Go to http://www.OptOutToday.com for more information. This website indicates this ruling applies to all public employees who are mandated to pay union dues in order to have a job.

If you are frustrated with how your union dues are spent and/or unhappy with the direction our state and taxes, it’s time to stop giving these unions millions of dollars to push their political agenda.

— Kathie Moloney, Orland

 

3 Responses to “Kathie Moloney: If you are frustrated with how your union dues are spent and/or unhappy with the direction our state and taxes, it’s time to stop giving these unions millions of dollars to push their political agenda”

  1. Jim January 16, 2020 at 1:02 pm #

    If you don’t want to be a member of a union, don’t go work at a union place. She could work at a private school or a charter school and not be paying union dues. Or she could teach in another state which doesn’t have union representation. Or she could just work in Walmart. However she is getting the salary and benefits negotiated by the union, but she doesn’t want to pay for the negotiation. To me people like this are nothing but whiners and freeloaders.

    While I agree the pay and benefits have gotten out of hand in some places. The management pays themselves much much better. In the cases of the teachers unions, they are the ones who have been demanding smaller class sizes and standing up to ridiculous concepts promoted by management.

    • Juanita Sumner January 16, 2020 at 4:16 pm #

      Thanks Jim!

    • Juanita Sumner January 19, 2020 at 7:28 am #

      I had to respond again, I needed to think over your comment.

      Jim, I believe it is a person’s right to have a job for which they are legally qualified. You call people who don’t want to belong to unions “whiners and freeloaders”? Well I call union members who coerce money out of people to use for their own enrichment “thugs and bullies”.

      You need to read the IRS form I posted above, and then go to “opt out today” and look at the teachers’ union salaries. And remember, those people have nothing to do with teaching our kids. Look at the salaries and tell me this isn’t wrong.

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