PROP 75 PRO: Union politics stifles some members

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week A Field poll last month found it to be supported by 55 percent of likely voters and opposed by 32 percent. Currently, most unions do allow their members to opt out of having their dues used for political purposes, but how it works varies among unions. In some cases, the person loses some of his or her membership privileges. For example, teachers in the California Teachers Association can opt out, but only by reducing their status to “agency fee payer” – someone who is not actually a member of the union, but receives the same contract and collective bargaining representation, without the right to vote on union leadership. In other cases, some union members complain that the opt-out process is complicated and not well-publicized. Members don’t always get their money back, either, but may have it given to a charity instead. Larry Sand, an eighth-grade teacher in West Los Angeles who supports the measure, said he doesn’t like the unions spending his dues primarily because he disagrees with their views. He is a member of United Teachers Los Angeles, which is affiliated with the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association. “It’s wrong for the union to take my money and spend it on political issues and candidates,” Sand said. “It’s especially wrong because their spending is way to the left. And I’m a conservative, so I especially resent that.” Harrison Sheppard, (916)446-6723 [email protected] PROPOSITION 75 Restrictions on political contributions by public unions. What it does: Requires public-employee unions to seek annual written consent from each member before using a portion of that member’s dues for political purposes. Key supporters: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Chamber of Commerce, the National Tax Limitation Committee. Key opponents: California Teachers Association, California Democratic Party, California Labor Federation. Fiscal impact: The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates minor state and local government costs, potentially offset by revenue from fines and/or fees. Web sites:,, 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Supporters of Proposition 75, the “paycheck protection” measure, say they are looking to give union members a greater say in how their dues are spent for political purposes. The measure prohibits public-employee unions from spending a portion of a member’s dues on political activities without prior consent every year from that member. “The purpose is to give everyday workers a voice,” said Eric Beach, a spokesman for the Yes on 75 campaign. “Right now the way the unions are set up, the union leadership continues to demonstrate that they’re out of touch with their own members.” The measure was authored by Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, and is primarily supported by business and taxpayer groups who often battle unions on statewide issues. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also supports it. last_img

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