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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Workers fight back against Kansas Legislative attacks on public unions

From Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner;

A new Kansas Bill which aims to weaken public sector unions and force from getting involved in any politics is being challenged from the Working Kansas Alliance;

“This morning the Kansas Senate Commerce committee held the first part of their hearing on HB 2023. Once again we were shocked by the outrageous claims made by a support of the bill. Only this time it wasn't a lobbyist...
"Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, argued that teachers and other public employees receive tax dollars and sometimes they are pushing for policies that taxpayers don't want."
- Lawrence Journal World

That's right. The President of the Kansas Senate, Susan Wagle, believes that taxpayers should have total oversight on how public employees spend their hard earned money. Our question to Senator Wagle is when does a workers paycheck becomes their own money? How workers spend their hard earned paychecks is none of the Kansas Legislature's business.”
The group has pointed out that Wagle assumes, although these union members are paying for and are putting in all this work, yet they don’t deserve to have the same rights as a private sector employees. And corporations are free to raise money within their organizations and in Kansas an employer can actually force their workers to contribute to a cause or candidate they don’t like.
These workers have no protection under this new Kansas law. They are trying to make Kansas the new “Scott Walker state,” (the Governor of Wisconsin) where public employee unions were stripped of any bargaining abilities. They also don’t want these unions supporting politicians who will defend them against the constant attacks of the far-right Republicans.

“Under Senate Bill 31 and House Bill 2023, members of professional organizations would no longer be allowed to pay membership dues or other fees to their unions through paycheck deductions if the money is to be used for political activities.
The state’s main teachers union, the Kansas National Education Association, criticized the legislation Tuesday, calling it an infringement on the rights of teachers.
“It’s kind of a matter of freedom,” KNEA president Karen Godfrey said. “This is our members’ money, and it’s a convenience.”
Godfrey said losing the option of paycheck deductions wouldn’t stop teacher unions from collecting dues, but that legislators seemed to want to throw a “roadblock” in the way. ”The bills would require that teachers pay such dues and contributions through personal payments — if the money is to be used for political activities.”

So for the immediate future, Governor Sam Brownback and all the little right-wing trolls who took control of the entire Kansas legislature, last election, now want to imitate Walker. Notice there is nothing original about anything they are doing. They are imitating others as these people lack any imagination and the ability to come up with their own arguments. Today, many of these politicians get many of their positions and their speeches from ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). It requires them to do way less work, since there arguments are pre-packaged for them. American Legislative Exchange Council
Working Kansas Alliance is not giving up. In an e-mail and cyber campaign they are trying to get people to push key legislators to oppose these new measures;
“You can call Senator Wagle at (785) 296 - 2419 and tell her to oppose HB 2023. Tell her that your paycheck belongs to you and that you should have the freedom to spend it however you want.
Then take a moment to call your State Senator and give them the same message. You can find the contact information for your Senator by entering your address by clicking here.

It may be a long shot to change such stubborn dogmatists as Brownback and his clan. But it is good for them to know we are all not taking this just lying down.

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