ShareThis Page
Paycheck protection: Tough to swallow |

Paycheck protection: Tough to swallow

As union honchos for government workers describe it, the paycheck protection legislation that passed the state Senate last month amounts to a political gag order on workers. But if there’s any actual “gagging” going on, it’s in attempting to swallow this union shibboleth.

The Senate bill bars state, local government and school district employers from deducting any portion of union dues from workers’ paychecks that fund political activity. Deductions for contract negotiations and other costs remain unchanged.

The president of the Service Employees International Union Local 668 says the Senate is trying to silence workers. And a web posting by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers says the legislation is intended to “financially cripple” state unions.

What’s prohibited would be the publicly funded collection of union dues for political purposes. Rank-and-file union members would be free to fund their unions’ politics separate from their dues.

“Because of the special political privilege … Pennsylvanians are forced to act as the collection agency for union leaders’ political activities,” writes Bob Dick for the Commonwealth Foundation.

And consider: If a state politico is caught using public resources to advance his/her career, that person likely would go to jail — as demonstrated by more than a few Harrisburg lawmakers.

State taxpayers shouldn’t have to swallow the cost of collecting government unions’ political money.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.