Argument: Public unions bargain with candidates they help elect

Issue Report: Collective bargaining rights for public unions


Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour: “When they have collective bargaining in Wisconsin, on one side of the table there’s state employee unions or the local employee unions. On the other side of the table are politicians that they paid for the election of those politicians. Now, who represents the taxpayers in that negotiation? Well, actually, nobody.”[1]

Andrew G. Biggs. “Why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Is Right About Collective Bargaining.” US News. February 25th, 2011: ” unlike private sector workers, public employees have a strong say in who their bosses are. In the 2010 election, in fact, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees was the largest single campaign contributor, spending over $90 million, with other unions kicking in more. Public employee unions spend this kind of cash for the same reason any special interest does: to elect candidates who agree with and will support them.”

Andrew G. Biggs. “Why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Is Right About Collective Bargaining.” US News. February 25th, 2011: “A law granting public-sector unions monopoly bargaining privileges gives a union, a special interest group, two bites at the apple. First, it uses its political clout to elect public officials. Then it negotiates with the very same officials.”

Larry Huss. “The Abuses of Collective Bargaining by Public Employee Unions.” Oregon Catalyst. March 2nd, 2011: ”In last week’s column I described the difference between traditional collective bargaining and collective bargaining with public employee unions. You see, in Wisconsin, the Republicans were able to precisely explain that while collective bargaining in the private sector is a cherished right to be respected, the same is not true in the public sector. In the private sector, the unions – responsible to the members – bargain with an independent management – responsible to their shareholders. There is a natural balance between the wishes of the employees to maximize their compensation and the management’s needs to control cost to remain competitive. But in the public sector, public employee unions bargain with a management whose campaigns they financed and who are dependent on the union’s financing for re-election. There is no balance.”