The Power of Public Sector Unions
(YORK, PA) I have reported over the last several years in my email updates the power public sector unions have in Harrisburg and that these unions are essentially running Pennsylvania because of their power and influence.
There are two distinct types of unions: private sector unions and public sector unions.
The first union group would be private sector unions, commonly known as the trade unions.
Trade unions represent electricians, plumbers, steelworkers, bricklayers, carpenters, equipment operators, steamfitters, and glass installers – mainly construction related workers.
The second union group would be classified as public sector employee unions.
Public sector unions represent school teachers and government workers.
The Pennsylvania State Education Association, commonly known as the PSEA, represents approximately 180,000 Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers throughout Pennsylvania.
Two other public sector unions that represent workers at the Department of Labor and Industry, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection are the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, commonly known as AFSCME, and the Service Employees International Union, commonly known as the SEIU union.
My email today focuses on the largest public sector union in Pennsylvania – the PSEA.
The PSEA represents approximately 180,000 K-12 school teachers in Pennsylvania – each teacher pays approximately eight hundred dollars per year in union dues to the PSEA.
Therefore on an annual basis, the PSEA collects approximately $144 Million Dollars from 180,000 school teachers.
It is hard to know exactly how much of the $144 Million Dollars collected is used for political purposes in Harrisburg and how much is used for bargaining and representation of the teachers.
I have seen first-hand the amount of money spent on political contributions to House and Senate members in Harrisburg and the amount spent on lobbying.
Penn Live reported in May of 2016 that $500 Million Dollars was spent on lobbying in 2015. Click here for the article: http://www.pennlive.
The PSEA is the most powerful union in Harrisburg and to collect approximately $144 Million Dollars per year in dues makes the PSEA a very large enterprise.
At PSEA headquarters in Harrisburg there are several hundred employees that are paid by the teacher dues collected.
The best way to describe the PSEA’s headquarter in Harrisburg would be to say that this is where the PSEA Union Bosses have their offices.
There are many great teachers throughout Pennsylvania who do an excellent job of teaching our children and would rather not be a member of the PSEA, but they do not have a choice, and if they had the choice a large majority of teachers would elect not to pay dues to the PSEA.
The PSEA is also a member of the National Education Association commonly known as the NEA, and the PSEA pays dues to the NEA.
The NEA is based in Washington D.C. and had a budget of more than $341 Million Dollars for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
The operation of the PSEA and the NEA are large enterprises; just think that there are forty nine other states in America that have teachers unions also that collect dues from their members.
It would be safe to say that teachers in schools throughout America pay several billion dollars in dues combined to teachers unions.
Teachers unions have become big businesses and yield extreme power over their members and in the states they operate.
Some quick research reveals that the NEA actually is very clear that they represent teachers and do not represent the children because the children do not pay dues.
Click here for three articles:
In the above articles, NEA officials actually make statements – “It’s Not About Kids, It’s About Power” and “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”
These are very powerful statements that make it crystal clear that union bosses at state levels and the national level are in the game for power and money, and not the children.
It is unfortunate because a large majority of the school teachers in Pennsylvania do care about their students and would drop out of the PSEA if they had a choice but they don’t have that choice because of the power of the PSEA.
The PSEA uses teacher dues collected to fight every effort that would result in solving the pension crisis and any initiative to eliminate school taxes on real estate in Pennsylvania.
In order for the teachers in Pennsylvania to stop being represented by the PSEA, it would require a decertification effort, initiated by a single teacher or group of teachers, but the PSEA will never let that happen, because the PSEA is all about power and money.
In my next email blast, I will tell you a story of the power that another public sector union has that represents state employees.
Until then, have a great weekend.