Anti-Union Bills Sail Out of Arizona Senate Government Reform Committee

Categories: Shop Talk

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Anti-union sentiments among Arizona's conservative politicos aren't letting up.

Four anti-union bills aimed at thwarting unions' existence in the public sector sailed out of the Senate's Government Reform committee on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1484 states public employers "shall not deduct" any third party (unions) payments unless they have express permission from the employee.

Senate Bill 1485 aims to kill collective bargaining altogether: "No state agency or political subdivision of this state is vested or possesses any authority to ... (2) collectively bargain or enter into any employment bargain with any union or its agents."

Senate Bill 1486 prohibits cities and towns from building into union contracts any "release time," that is releasing city employees from their city jobs to work on behalf of the unions while still collecting salaries and benefits.

Senate Bill 1487 would make it unlawful for the public sector employer to diverted employee pay for "labor organization dues."

The Goldwater Institute, an ideologically-driven, conservative think-tank, is touting the righteousness of the bills, namely SB 1486, after it released a report condemning the $3.7 million a year that Phoenix spent on release time for city employees to conduct union work. In December, the think-tank filed a constitutional challenge against the City of Phoenix over that release time for members of the police union.

Pete Gorraiz, president of the Phoenix fire fighters' union, tells New Times that release time is used to work on training issues, spend time representing employees at grievance hearings and on community outreach such as drowning prevention and food drives.

He dismisses the Goldwater Institute's involvement as nothing more than the organization's effort to promote its own agenda. And "reducing the influence of unions" is at the top of the organization's to-do list.

From Goldwater's 2012 Freedom Agenda.

Ban Public-Sector Collective Bargaining Public-sector collective bargaining costs state and local taxpayers around the country tens of billions of dollars in excessive public employee compensation every year. Arizona should enact and expand upon reforms already in place in Virginia, which ban collective bargaining and collectively bargained contracts in the public sector. This could save Arizona taxpayers more than $550 million per year in compensation costs to government workers.

Read more of the Freedom Agenda.

Greg Brooks, a spokesman for the Goldwater Institute, tells New Times that such savings comes from lower employee wages and other cost-cutting city officials are able to do when they aren't tied to a union contract.

Gorraiz says that "bills will take the decision-making ability and local control away from the cities and towns across the entire state of Arizona."

"The State Legislature is trying to play parent to every political subdivision of the state and take away their ability to decide for themselves," Gorraiz says.



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15 comments
Mimabo72
Mimabo72

Lets's think about this situation. These facists are guttting the country. tale of 2 cities and then the U.S.  Big Corporations moved south to go to open shop states to control workers slaries and lives. I live in a small town in WV, it had a sewing factory. It paid minimum wages no beneifits,nand no paid vacation, in a closed shop state, one day my ex-wife and I were at a heritage days fair. I saw the owner of the company and walked up with my then chinese wife, seing she was Chinese he started bragging how much cheaper labor he could get in China since he moved his business there, by the way I haven't bought nothing there since for the past 7 years now. The second was in Virginia, it made brakes for our cars, and was unionized,in a right to work state. they move not to an open shop state but to China and Mexico. I think it is time we have a national vote to force lower union due and mandate that all american workers be unionized. The ones who cry about the unions are company brown nosers who are trying to get an unearned position in a company. After the company is finishing using them they throw them back to the dogs from which they came from. I think China has a good rule also limit the percentage  of profit the same as nixon did years ago. Term limits for all politicians. One term and you are out. No benefits unless they have worked a job to augment the other years. Our Republicans are freeloaders. They whine about the 30% and hope you forget the loop holes they  have. Lets face it deuction of gasoline,company car, all kinds of untaxed benefits.You pay for your gas,if you drive to work, you can't deduct your cars wear and tear, like them. Let's vote for the democrats this fall no more split votes and send them a message. Republicans have been playing games blaming the democrats pointing fingers. that is not what we paid them to do. nor did we pay the DummyCrats to put on our back this insane insurance plan which seems to been signed in to law by a Reblickers, who has who have thier noses appropriately fastened to a lobbyist rear end ( MItt Romney) If these fools don't realize that they want to go where the cheapest labor is. lets have a national wage adjustment, Congress and the businesses have their pay reduce to the wage rate  percentage. No increases and no insider trading and no gifts.

Mimabo72
Mimabo72

I as an independent once democrat, have decided all those years that I have voted 50/50 has come to an end. I see the error of my ways, I sooner vote for Democrat or Socialist or worse than vote for a republican slime.I think I will after the primary go back to being a democrat, because, the republicans are giving the american worker any vaseline and kiss either

AzMot
AzMot

I'm not Union but I will stand with labor on this one. All these legislators are just corporate puppets. All their bills are written by the Goldwater Institute, ALEC. FAIR, NRA.ect. When are people going to wake up? These people are not working for us..

Asea Cwa
Asea Cwa

What does the Goldwater Institute think happens to the budget when you drive more people to the unemployment line or for assistance because they aren't making a living wage?

What happens to the infrastructure of a state that takes away decent pay and rights of those people who keep it running and keep it safe? 

What a shame that Arizona citizens voted in politicians who are more interested in lining their own and their friends' pockets with the legal know-how of the Goldwater Institute.  Let's hope Arizona wakes up and cleans house (and senate, and governor) sooner rather than later.

krazy bill
krazy bill

i sincerely hope that the various police agencies don't turn their guns on the legislators that are reaming their assets!  The idea of our lawmakers' blood flowing out the doors of the statehouse fill me with sadness.

Bnbk
Bnbk

This attempt at "thwarting" Unions existence will not go unanswered. These right-wing extremist's attempt to do away with the collective bargaining rights for our public sector workers is but a first step in what surely will be an attempt to outlaw all unions. Our first responders,teachers & all public sector workers deserve our support in this struggle. These so called "leaders" in the Senate Goverment Reform committee & the useless Governor, should look inward at their own failure to be affective "leaders"instead of scapegoating the workers.....Blaming our fiscal problems on the workers is nothing more than a cop out......As an example,my spouse has been employed at the same company for over 33 years. All of those years the company has been a union company.The company has been profitable & has actually aquired & merged with a non-union company.All the new employees have chosen to join the union,so success can be acheived with union employees. What is lacking in this situation is leadership at the top.The workers are doing their jobs,it is our so called "leaders" that are failing us...............To all the Union workers in this struggle,rest assured,you are not alone. We will be there to support your struggle !

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