Arizona legislature moves toward curbing union abuses

posted at 4:55 pm on February 9, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Last year we brought you up to date with the efforts of the Goldwater Institute to fight union corruption and abuse of taxpayer dollars in Arizona. In what should serve as an inspiration to activists everywhere, their voices have been heard and the state government has opened up a series of legislative actions to remedy the problem. These include one measure to do away with collective bargaining for government employees who are paid off the taxpayer dime and three which limit how union dues are collected and applied where public work is ostensibly being performed.

As I’m sure will come as no surprise, the unions are up in arms.

Labor unions plan to rally in front of the Arizona State Capitol on Thursday afternoon to protest four bills quickly moving through the state Legislature that could make last year’s Wisconsin labor laws look modest by comparison.

Three of the four bills restrict the way unions collect dues and the way workers get paid for union activities. The fourth bans collective bargaining between governments and government workers: state and local. Unlike Wisconsin, it affects all government employees, including police and firefighters.

“It seems as though those employees or at least the unions that represent them don’t care what the burden is on the taxpayer as long as they get theirs,” says state Sen. Rick Murphy, a Republican who is sponsoring the bills.

Others are describing these actions as “Wisconsin on steroids” and looking to derail the effort.

“Wisconsin on steroids” –a sweeping set of anti-union laws even more severe than those passed in Madison last March over massive public outcry—is now on the legislative agenda in Arizona. Arizona Republicans seek to ban local unions of teachers, firefighters, police, and other public servants from collective bargaining, and would even prohibit local officials from conferring with unions. These and other proposals set a new low in proposed restrictions on union rights.

Of course, the actual proposals seek to stop taxpayer dollars from being wasted for full time union officials who do no actual work for the public, spending all their time on union business. Yet even that seems to be a bridge too far for the unions.

One problem which should seem obvious is that some of these public sector employees are police and firefighters, the first responders who are supported by virtually everyone. While their work is something which crosses party lines and they are heroes cheered on by all of us, their unions can, on occasion, abuse that reputation, resulting in unfair burdens on the taxpayer. But, by the same token, we want to make sure that they are compensated at a fair rate similar to their colleagues in the rest of the states. How do the current legislative actions address this? Hot Air asked the Goldwater Institute’s Nick Dranias to explain.

This is about stopping government unions from having a special privilege to use the force of law to extract maximum concessions from elected officials and taxpayers.

Our reforms treat all government unions equally, and go no farther than what the law has been in Virginia for more than 30 years.

First responders in Virginia do fine without collective bargaining laws that give government unions special privileges to negotiate subsidies, like release time, from the taxpayer in secrecy with elected officials.

Arizona is breaking new ground here and could use the support of other right to work advocates around the nation who seek equal footing on both sides and a fair voice for the taxpayer in how their money is spent. We will continue to monitor this legislation as it moves forward.


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From Diapers to Depends — Obama 2012

Good on Arizona!

p.s. AZ, don’t listen to McCain – you should have sent the incontinent of the pants/brain into a decent retirement, while there was decency left.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

…and the way workers get paid for union activities.

I never understood that. Never having lived in a union state, it just seems odd to me.

But, man, I’ve set many a show in union states…scary.

cozmo on February 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Arizona is breaking new ground here and could use the support of other right to work advocates around the nation who seek equal footing on both sides and a fair voice for the taxpayer in how their money is spent.

Tim_CA on February 9, 2012 at 4:59 PM

cozmo on February 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

NY

NJ

Scary stuff.

Tim_CA on February 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

cozmo on February 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

You a roadie?

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

McCain is a more RINOy than Romney. That true isn’t it?

SparkPlug on February 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I used to set military and trade shows. Specialized in their delicate models (not the girls sadly, just the cool new and future stuff).

cozmo on February 9, 2012 at 5:04 PM

But aren’t the people in Arizona racist?

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2012 at 5:05 PM

I never understood that. Never having lived in a union state, it just seems odd to me.

But, man, I’ve set many a show in union states…scary.

cozmo on February 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Same. I will never, ever forget my first experience in the Jacob Javits Center. I was carrying a small box of my merchandise heading to my booth and some union guy came up to me and told me I was not allowed to carry that box. (It was about double the size of a shoebox, nothing large)

Me and this guy argued for about 10 minutes (me walking towards my booth the entire time) until I finally relented.

It’s absolutely crazy.

ButterflyDragon on February 9, 2012 at 5:05 PM

cozmo on February 9, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Cool.

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

.
Really ? What conservative value inspires the trashing of a war hero ? Save the drive-bys for the commie in cheif.
.
A “balanced” diet requires more than just red meat.
.
Lets enjoy the subject of the thread and how things are changing.

FlaMurph on February 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Our reforms treat all government unions equally, and go no farther than what the law has been in Virginia for more than 30 years.
First responders in Virginia do fine without collective bargaining laws that give government unions special privileges to negotiate subsidies, like release time, from the taxpayer in secrecy with elected officials.

Arizona is breaking new ground here and could use the support of other

Jazz, are you trying to say that AZ is breaking new ground for Arizona? The juxtaposition of the statements above (emphasis mine) just looks… amateurish.

Arizona is certainly not ‘breaking new ground’ in the abstract sense, if they based their laws on current VA law.

Scott H on February 9, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Wow,

Another state goes after the unions. I guess people are finally through having to dish out tax dollars to folks who make more then they do.

banzaibob on February 9, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Don’t ‘cha wish you lived in Arizona, too? Our lady governor isn’t afraid of big, bad, Obama. We started the anti-illegal alien movement. We’re not afraid of unions or their goons.

Racist? since when are people born in Mexico a separate race?
Hello! Native born Mexicans are White people.

srdem65 on February 9, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Ricky “Union-Lovin’” Santorum would disapprove!

JA on February 9, 2012 at 5:19 PM

FlaMurph on February 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM

That pool has been depleted a long time ago.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 5:24 PM

McCain is a more RINOy than Romney. That true isn’t it?

SparkPlug on February 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Figuring out which of the two is the conservative one is like trying to figure out which of two midgets is the tall guy.

angryed on February 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

McCain is a more RINOy than Romney. That true isn’t it?

SparkPlug on February 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Figuring out which of the two is the conservative one is like trying to figure out which of two midgets is the tall guy.

angryed on February 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

LMFAO.

Tim_CA on February 9, 2012 at 5:27 PM

A “balanced” diet requires more than just red meat.

FlaMurph on February 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Synergy is when all go under, together. Sing kumbaya, FM, sing… sing.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Some of us tried :(

On another note, this weekend Arizona is celebrating it’s centennial with a big event in downtown Phoenix and a speech by the governor. I wonder if the unions are going to make an appearance to make their feelings known.

I don’t think it would go over very well.

AZ_Mike on February 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM

I don’t think it would go over very well.

AZ_Mike on February 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Heh, how come you didn’t get offended by my comment? :)

I hope they try, so that your side can ‘pitchfork’ a few. We need more red meat.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Jazz Shaw

For the Arizona/union record from the 1960s, the mining industry with the aid of paid-off lawmen busted the miners’ union, physically attacking miners on peaceful strike, breaking bones. Of all labor, the miners have yet to be successfully represented or protected by either enforced labor laws or union reps, regardless of which State in the Union. Same applies in Santorum’s home state.

Also for the record, unless skilled laborers in Southwestern States work for national/global corporations that are already unionized, don’t expect benefits or even comparable wages with other states.

That said, unions have become organized crime. And that same critique applies to our federal government.

maverick muse on February 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I hope they try, so that your side can ‘pitchfork’ a few. We need more red meat.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 5:31 PM

I will be 1 of over 2000 bikers that will be there so I think the odds will be in our favor : )

AZ_Mike on February 9, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Given that the taxes I pay fund the dues paid by union members to fund democrat politicians whose views are largely anathema to half the country, I have a hard time understanding why public sector unions have never been outlawed as an abrogation of my first amendment rights of free association. Even if the unions were forbidden to make political contributions, the fact that they and the democrat party are tightly intertwined would still violate those rights, as I am still forced to support through my hard earned tax dollars what I believe is an anti-American, dictatorial, and malevolent group. Even FDR understood that. What the he!! is wrong with this country that PSUs were ever allowed to exist in the first place?

SteveThomas on February 9, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Good for Arizona! Unions are a cancer on society.

tinkerthinker on February 9, 2012 at 5:48 PM

(my first HA comment!) This Tuesday, St. Valentines Day, is Arizona’s 100th anniversary of state hood. 14 February 1912.

Seems to me, there is no way that any POTUS could not make a special announcement, much less kind words or congradulations to our state. But with all the Federal lawsuites that he and AG Holder have filed against the state, it’s going to be REAL interesting to see what, if anything, Obama says on 14 February.

MR. ARIZONA on February 9, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Unions are a cancer on society.

Agreed. Bravo, Arizona.

Do your civic duty, folks. Find the giant rats at a union picket and flip them off.

Jaibones on February 9, 2012 at 5:54 PM

We need a complete rework of Wagner. There might be something there we can keep, but not a lot.

slickwillie2001 on February 9, 2012 at 5:56 PM

(police are) heroes cheered on by all of us

Speak for yourself. Police are almost never around when needed and enforce Big Government stupidity when they are around.

More guns, fewer police!

exdeadhead on February 9, 2012 at 5:57 PM

NJ

Scary stuff.

Tim_CA on February 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM

We’re called The Sopranos State for a reason.

Archivarix on February 9, 2012 at 6:00 PM

As one of the states with the best voting record in the nation, Arizona voters didn’t go for “You Lie!” hussein in the primary (Hillary won) and didn’t go for “You Lie!” in the general. Everyone knows that “You Lie!” hussein and his imbecile AG (and Black Panther Party supporter and defender) holder have relentlessly attacked, vilified and sued Arizona because it tries to protect its citizens from ILLEGAL invader criminals (which they won’t do). Arizona has done more than any other state to fight d-cRAT socialist extremism, including blocking obozocare’s mandate, stopping forced unionization (it’s a Right-to-Work state), prohibiting affirmative action discriminatory special treatment and countless other socialist atrocities.

And now the Great State of Arizona will go after the taxpayer leeches known as public-sector unions. As one of her final, despicable acts before joining the OBOZO regime “systemic failure” janet napolitano, as Gov. of Arizona, opened the state government to expanded public-sector unions, which, as usual, are bleeding dry the taxpayers with their outrageous salaries and humongous gold-plated benefits, both of which far exceed what a private Arizona worker gets. That will soon end – but watch for the OBOZO regime and their union goons/masters to further attack, vilify, demean and slime Arizona for doing the right thing for its citizens.

TeaPartyNation on February 9, 2012 at 6:03 PM

We’re called The Sopranos State for a reason.

Archivarix on February 9, 2012 at 6:00 PM

lol.

Tim_CA on February 9, 2012 at 6:08 PM

FlaMurph on February 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Thank-you.

uhangtight on February 9, 2012 at 6:18 PM

FlaMurph on February 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Thank-you.

uhangtight on February 9, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Have your heads examined. His service is intact. The other parts and issues are not.

It is very sad when the righties can’t hold two concurrent thoughts in one God-given head. We put up with enough ineptness from the left.

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 6:23 PM

I will be 1 of over 2000 bikers that will be there so I think the odds will be in our favor : )

AZ_Mike on February 9, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Good on you, and MR. ARIZONA too.

Congratulations!!!

Schadenfreude on February 9, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Just imagine how much more cold hard cash the First Responders would take home in their paychecks without having union dues siphoned from them?

stukinIL4now on February 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

FINALLY

reshas1 on February 9, 2012 at 6:41 PM

War in Wisconsin Part Deux!! Go Arizonans!You have the tools to make things right in your state.If you want to see an example of what can happen if you don’t take control of it,look no further west to us in California.

jeffinsjvca on February 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Go for it Arizona. You’re part of that select group of (US) states that Baroque has effectively declared war against – you have nothing to lose.

CorporatePiggy on February 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

It’s got my support. I wouldnt live anywhere else but here.

azkag on February 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

How is it possible for the State of Arizona to be such a leader in Common Sense, yet they keep putting that retard John “I Wanna Be President Whaaaaaaaaaa” McCain back in office? Arizona should use the Obumbler’s Health Care methodology the next time Old Bastard gets cheek cancer and give the asshole a pain pill and let him die out!

Tbone McGraw on February 9, 2012 at 8:00 PM

I’ve got news for you readers and the editors of HA. Arizona is going purple to blue. Why? We were given an extra seat with the census. The redistricting process has been in the hands of an QUOTE independent UNQUOTE commission. The commission was stacked with republicans, democrats and independents but the independents were really democrats and when the plan went to be voted on by the legislature they said no and it went to court. The republicans on the committee argued that the chairwoman was biased in court. None of this went anywhere and for SOME ungodly reason the republican governor didn’t stop the process and do whatever she could to save the state as RED.

Now? Quayle is in the same congressional district as David Schweikert for a run off and its a +2 republican but has TEMPE college town in it that goes democrat. In the end? The independent commission set it up to send at least 2 more democrats to congress instead of the current slate + 1 republican which should have been for the rural areas.

As for the state legislature? That also has been changed. I used to live in a republican/republican district. Now? Its up-for-grabs/up-for-grabs which means vote early vote often vote democrat. I just paid my house off too. Damn.

athenadelphi on February 9, 2012 at 8:00 PM

This is a plea to those that want to move from their states that are democrat. Arizona needs you. Maricopa county needs you. Phoenix, Tempe, and other areas that are trending democrat need you to move in, stem the tide and retake the place from the California transplants that ran out of gas on their way out of the state and ended up on the west side and south side of the city!

The summers AREN’T that bad! yes they’re hot but it lasts for 6 weeks and then starts to cool off. No humidity means there IS a difference! And with the foreclosure mess, the house prices are really good! So come on down and help stem the tide of democrats taking the state BLUE if you’re in a Blue state and want out.

thanks.
not sponsored or supported by any pac or travel department of the state of arizona
:)

athenadelphi on February 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

One problem which should seem obvious is that some of these public sector employees are police and firefighters, the first responders who are supported by virtually everyone.

I am always surprised at the meme that, Fire and Police are competent, heroic government employees as compared to, all others. How do we manage to get parasites in some areas and, heroes in another. Maybe, the rose-colored glasses need to be retired.

Jeff2161 on February 9, 2012 at 9:28 PM

From, Phoenix FD : Budget=3.5 Billion/ 13000 fire calls. Total equals $269,230.769 per fire. WOW, $270k per fire call. How heroic !

Jeff2161 on February 9, 2012 at 9:57 PM

This is a plea to those that want to move from their states that are democrat. Arizona needs you. Maricopa county needs you. Phoenix, Tempe, and other areas that are trending democrat need you to move in, stem the tide and retake the place from the California transplants that ran out of gas on their way out of the state and ended up on the west side and south side of the city!

The summers AREN’T that bad! yes they’re hot but it lasts for 6 weeks and then starts to cool off. No humidity means there IS a difference! And with the foreclosure mess, the house prices are really good! So come on down and help stem the tide of democrats taking the state BLUE if you’re in a Blue state and want out.

thanks.
not sponsored or supported by any pac or travel department of the state of arizona
:)

athenadelphi on February 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

LOL. Fun post.

Although, I would think that the California transplants are right-leaners trying to escape Cali’s unbridled liberalism. I wonder if some of those new transplants aren’t folks from other blue cold-weather states looking to warm up.

Bitter Clinger on February 9, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Good luck to Arizona on this noble effort. Our legislature in Ohio went out and did something similar, but the unions threw a hissy fit (big surprise) and got a repeal-the-good-law issue on the ballot and my fellow Buckeye staters idiotically voted the law down. I swear that people in this state don’t know what they want.

Bitter Clinger on February 9, 2012 at 11:59 PM

So glad my state is working to push these unions out!! And yes please if you live in a blue state and are fed up with getting taxed/regulated to death please come to AZ. We need you to push back against the liberal who are creeping into our state. We need to stay conservate.

azconservativegirl on February 10, 2012 at 1:25 AM

Same. I will never, ever forget my first experience in the Jacob Javits Center. I was carrying a small box of my merchandise heading to my booth and some union guy came up to me and told me I was not allowed to carry that box. (It was about double the size of a shoebox, nothing large)

Me and this guy argued for about 10 minutes (me walking towards my booth the entire time) until I finally relented.

It’s absolutely crazy.

ButterflyDragon on February 9, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Too funny sounds like me 15 years ago I couldn’t set up my grid display using a screw and screwdriver… needed a union member… who went on dinner break 5 minutes after her arrived while I had been preparing for the show 96+ hours on little sleep and needed to get it set up so I could sleep 5 hours before the show began but had to wait for the union guy to come back. Heck I used twist ties always from then forward.

Then just last night I stayed in at a Mahatten Hotel, after adding in the taxes there was a $1.50 Javitts Center fee but I was about 30 streets south of there and wasn’t even going to the Javitt’s Center – What’s that all about? Give me a break and they called it a fee- HA!

wubu on February 10, 2012 at 1:39 AM