Model Labor Policy Language

Published February 1, 2008

Big Labor’s political clout has grown over the past decade despite falling membership, and much of this power has been gained at the expense of the First Amendment rights of workers.

Many union bosses are now employing their newfound clout for personal and political gain. Legislators, however, have the authority to put workers on equal footing with union bosses and can empower them to take back their unions.

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation has compiled pertinent labor policies into a model policy booklet. The booklet is a valuable resource for policymakers, their staffs, and others.

Financial Transparency

Most union bosses say members have free access to their union’s financial records. When workers ask for the documents, however, union bosses often lead them into a slew of onerous procedures and voluminous records.

David E. Bradley, an executive board member for the Fresno Teachers Association, described the situation in his union: “[FTA President Larry Moore] runs the union like a dictator. He doesn’t want his members to know the truth about how dues are spent.”

The federal government has imposed reporting requirements on private sector and federal employee unions. States can implement similar guidelines for unions not covered by the federal guidelines (state and local level public-sector unions.).

Limitation on Agency Fees

Legislators can limit agency fees–also called “fair share” fees–to the portion of union expenditures for activities germane to collective bargaining, rather than permitting unions to require nonmembers to pay a fee equivalent to full membership dues.

Open Bargaining Sessions

Legislators can open collective bargaining negotiations to the public. The negotiations are in the public and legislative interest because, in many cases, personnel expenses are an agency’s highest costs. They are also negotiated on the public’s behalf, funded by taxpayers, and approved by the legislature.

The process in which those costs are determined should be open to the public.

Ryan Bedford

For more information …

Model Policy Booklet, Evergreen Freedom Foundation:

“Election reveals teachers union rift,” Fresno Bee: