Big Labor’s Money Grab Continues to Plague California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- How much damage will California’s union-boss lackey Governor cause to state employees and taxpayers before his term is up?
That’s the question on the minds of state employees as they watch in horror while union bosses work hand-in-glove with Governor Gray Davis to usher in the era of Big Labor and Big Government in California.
In a rush to lock up tens of thousands of state employees in chains of compulsory unionism, union bosses are pushing a raft of new laws through the state legislature that will be disastrous to the state’s economy and are unconstitutional.
Union officials thumb noses at court
Meanwhile, in the case of California’s schoolteachers, union bosses even went as far as to thumb their noses at a federal court ruling that would have shut down a common union scheme.
Last year, in a Foundation-won decision, the U.S. District Court for Northern California declared unconstitutional the California Teachers Association (CTA) union’s scheme to seize forced union dues from teachers’ paychecks without providing them properly audited financial disclosure.
The widely used “local union presumption” scheme is designed to circumvent the constitutional requirements for independently audited disclosure by claiming that the percentage of local union activities tied to collective bargaining could be arbitrarily “presumed” to be equivalent to the percentage reported on the statewide CTA union’s financial disclosure.
But because the court ruling only directly applied to six local unions and school districts, CTA bosses are continuing to employ the illegal scheme everywhere else. That’s why Foundation attorneys had no choice but to file a new suit, Sheffield v. CTA, which could potentially affect all 300 CTA-affiliated local unions who still won’t give audited financial information to teachers.
“California’s union bosses have no respect for employee rights or the rule of law,” said Randy Wanke, the Foundation’s Director of Legal Information. “Their arrogance is matched only by their bitter contempt for the U.S. Constitution.”
The teachers are seeking a court order enjoining the collection of any local fees from thousands of California teachers until their constitutional rights are respected. If the teachers prevail, every CTA local union affiliate will be barred from circumventing the U.S. Supreme Court’s independent auditing doctrine with the use of “local presumption.”
Foundation fights Big Labor’s power grab
The CTA union is just one player in Big Labor’s quest for political supremacy in California. For example, since being swept into office by a tidal wave of forced-dues money, Governor Davis has signed at least one new state law and numerous side agreements with union officials in order to force tens of thousands of university employees to accept unwanted union “representation” and bankroll radical union political activities.
California is fast becoming a bellwether state in the national battle against compulsory unionism abuses. That’s why Foundation attorneys have filed separate class-action lawsuits on behalf of state employees, California State University and University of California employees and faculty members, and California schoolteachers. All told, these lawsuits could stop union bosses from seizing forced dues from as many as 68,000 public employees statewide.
“It’s time to put an end to Big Labor’s power grab in California. If union bosses are victorious in the Golden State, they’ll be even more zealous elsewhere,” stressed Wanke.