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We had a great meeting on Saturday. Thanks to all who turned out!

We are always especially appreciative when our elected representatives make the effort to attend our meeting.


DawnMeling_CommonwealthFoundationDawn Meling of the Commonwealth Foundation was our guest speaker. Her topic was Paycheck Protection.

This is just a quick synopsis of Dawn’s main points:

Pennsylvania is not a right to work state. Many government employees are required to be union members, or choose to be a “fee payer” (situation in which a worker still contributes the union in return for the “privilege” of being allowed to work. They pay less in dues, but also forfeit the right to vote and other privileges associated with full union membership.)

  • In Pennsylvania, state worker’s unions have the unique authority to collect monies via payroll deduction for political activity.
  •  Unions spent 5 million dollars last election on political activity.
  • Collecting these monies via payroll deduction is a unique privilege extended to no other organization.
  •  These monies are used to work for policies and candidates that many union members disagree with.
  • Paycheck protection would end the gravy train of tax money to the union.
  •  This critical reform has already occurred in Michigan and Wisconsin.
  •  There is growing momentum in Pennsylvania.
  •  County commissioners, township supervisors, and  other government bodies are passing resolutions supporting this.
  •  a poll focused on union members themselves found that a majority of union members agree with paycheck protection.
  • the current privilege enjoyed by public sector unions is harmful to union members because it removes union leader responsibility.
 Dawn included handouts that can be viewed here. Please notice what Paycheck Protection would NOT do – there is a lot of misinformation (and outright lies) being disseminated by the union bosses themselves, who are afraid of losing this powerful “perk.”

What you can do

Contact government representatives.
Understand that for those who support paycheck protection, it is not an easy position to be in. Your  representatives need to hear – loud and clear – that you support paycheck protection in Pennsylvania.

Representative Lee James, who was present at the meeting, shared that he received 80 letters against paycheck protection at one of his offices, and only 2 letters in favor of paycheck protection. Clearly, those of us who favor an end to this union based political pork barrel must make more of an effort to communicate with our representatives!

Dawn discussed that a personal letter is always the most effective communication. If you are very short on time a form letter is better than no communication, and the Commonwealth Foundation does offer form letters to help you phrase your communication. A phone call is also a good way to make your opinion known, and all of the representatives have the ability to receive email via their website.

You can also talk to friends etc. – get others to communicate on this important issue!
 Pennsylvania is ready for this.
The bills are:
HB 1154 (still in committee)

SB 1054

It was interesting to learn that every local government body could vote to take action on this when contracts expire. For example, your local school board could vote to make paycheck protection the current privilege enjoyed by public sector unions is harmful to union members because it removes union leader responsibility.part of the next union contract (all politics is local politics!)

 Another interesting tidbit was learning about a small community called “free to teach” – a group for teachers who want to be free to teach, without accepting the political baggage the union forces on them.
Many thanks to Dawn and to the Commonwealth Foundation for a lively and informative discussion!