Pro-union Gov. gets smacked down on dues

The Independence Institute, a Golden, Colorado based think tank, is circulating petitions for a ballot initiative that would stop governmental agencies from collecting union dues from their employees. In 2001, then-Gov. Bill Owens signed an executive order that stopped the payroll deduction for unionized state employees. Soon after Bill Ritter’s election, the new governor issued a new executive order to resume the automatic deductions.

Jon Caldera, president of Independence, says the organization doesn’t believe governments should be collectors and distributors of dues for unions that turn around and spend that money to lobby the same governments. Independence believes that taxpayers should not be subsidizing unions that often work counter to the taxpayers’ general interest.

We agree.

A spokeswoman for the Colorado Education Association says CEA’s view is that “once the employee has earned their salary, it’s theirs to spend as they fit and making a union contribution is their right.”

We have no quarrel with that right. But there is no right to force taxpayers to foot the bill for union members making those contributions. Let the members write checks to their unions.

This Independence Institute effort is worthwhile, and we urge Coloradans to sign the petitions.


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