Proposition 3: Texas should prohibit governmental entities from collecting dues for labor unions through deductions from the public employee paychecks.
Currently, state and local government can collect dues for membership to labor or trade unions from public employees by withholding money from their paychecks. Union membership is voluntary in Texas. However, the question raised upon discovery of this practice is whether or not it is inappropriate for the government to have a role in the membership payment process of a union, or any other group.
PROPONENTS of government dues deduction argue that an employee should be allowed to be a member of a labor or trade union and should have the option to have their union membership dues deducted from their paychecks by their city, county or state employer. They argue that the public employees who are currently members of these unions will be harmed or inconvenienced if the government is prohibited from collecting the dues from their paychecks on behalf of unions.
OPPONENTS of this current practice argue that a governmental body should not use tax payer resources to collect dues for union membership, and that although a public employee is free to join a union, they should pay their dues and fees directly to the union or association they wish to join. Government should not tilt the playing field in the favor of one group or the other. As the dues collector for unions, government is acting on behalf of the union which is an affront to small business. Small businesses are directly impacted by the anti-business campaigns unions fund and push, including a mandated minimum wage increase, mandated paid leave, and many other laws that interfere with the employer/employee relationship.
Statement from NFIB/TX FOR Prop 3
Our federal, state and local governmental bodies should be an impartial resource to ALL taxpayers, and should not play favor or make endorsements for any entity. By acting as the dues collector for unions in Texas, the government makes a de facto endorsement for that group’s policy positions, incentives, and campaigns. It’s no secret that public sector unions, like the SEIU (Service Employees International Union), make millions of dollars off the top of public employee paychecks through this sweetheart deal with our government. Those millions are used to push anti-business campaigns and fund the campaigns of candidates who wish to put small businesses in Texas out of business–which is also a direct assault on their employees and the local economy. The SEIU was the single largest contributor in the 2014 national elections thanks to this practice, and have been the force behind the national “Fight for 15”
In order for NFIB (or most other associations) to attract membership and build its army, NFIB has to seek out small business owners, make its case to them regarding the benefits of being an NFIB member, and maintain its own membership payments and renewals. All public sector unions have to do is sit back and watch the money roll in and thank the government for doing their work for them. Prohibiting our government from collecting dues for unions will not harm or inconvenience one single public employee (firefighters, police, and teachers included), even though that’s what opponents of ending this practice will have you believe. The employee who wishes to join a union or association will simply pay their dues directly to their respective group.