Union’s ‘rebate’ |

Union’s ‘rebate’

A so-called “rebate” offered annually by the faculty union for Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities is nothing more than a conduit for the union’s political action fund, as a Slippery Rock University nursing professor alleges.

In her complaint filed with the state Labor Relations Board, Mary Ann Dailey of Pottstown, formerly a state legislator, says the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties overcharges for dues, then comes courting for political contributions. Each year, according to Ms. Dailey, members have the option to receive the $25 rebate, give it to the union’s political action fund or contribute it to the general fund.

It adds up quickly and conveniently.

Accrued among thousands of instructors and coaches at state universities, the “rebate” provided $66,000 last year in extra revenue for the union’s political action committee, according to Nate Bohlander, assistant general counsel for the Fairness Center, which filed the complaint on Dailey’s behalf.

Slippery Rock’s faculty union chapter president insists the rebate is “completely voluntary.” Not if union members are being overcharged on their dues, which amounts to an interest-free loan. And that shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

It’s another reason why union members statewide deserve a meaningful say in the disposition of their dues, which should be estimated to the penny and collected by the unions themselves, without any “rebates.”

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