Survey shows public union members want paycheck protection

A state “paycheck protection” proposal is drawing the ire of Pennsylvania union leaders, who have been rallying and lobbying strongly against it.

And it’s no wonder.

Under the current setup, dues and campaign contributions from government union members are taken by those unions from paychecks and spent on politics, political advocacy and campaign contributions of the union’s choice.

Paycheck protection legislation would take taxpayers out of union politics by requiring government unions to collect their own money.

Having to do so would require the union leaders to be more accountable to their members and would make the process of political advocacy and how lobby money is spent more open.

And that’s what the individual union members want, according to the results of Susquehanna Polling and Research, which did polling on the paycheck protection legislation from Feb. 6-9.

According to union households surveyed, 80 percent don’t think taxpayer resources should be used to collect campaign contributions. A total of 72 percent of those surveyed think unions should collect dues themselves. A total of 58 percent of those surveyed support paycheck protection legislation.

In other words, the rallies against this legislation are manufactured opposition designed to leave the impression that union members are against something they appeared to actually advocate.

It’s time to allow the individual government union members to exercise the same rights as other workers. They should be allowed to decide for themselves how to exercise their political rights and their paychecks.

We understand the opposition from union leaders to this legislation. They’ve got a pretty good situation right now: They get the dues from members, bundle them up into a nice contribution to their political darlings and, in return, get legislative favoritism.

But in the process, individual union members forfeit the right to decide for themselves how their dues should be spent politically and whether particular candidates merit their backing.

It’s past time to give the government union workers paycheck protection so they can have the same rights as workers in all other workplaces in the state.