It's been another tough week for unions, especially coming only two weeks after their epic loss to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. This week their losses come in the form of a Supreme Court smackdown and a Denver Post editorial slam.
On the Supreme Court smackdown, per the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that unions must give nonmembers an immediate chance to object to unexpected fee increases or special assessments that all workers are required to pay in closed-shop situations.
The court ruled for Dianne Knox and other nonmembers of the Service Employees International Union's Local 1000, who wanted to object and opt out of a $12 million special assessment the union required from its California public sector members for political campaigning. Knox and others said the union did not give them a legally required notice that the increase was coming.
Translated: No, SEIU, you cannot strong-arm funds from nonmember public sector employees to fund your corrupt election practices.
The Supreme Court took the case after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Liberal Pandering, or rather, Appeals ruled the annual notice was enough. The Supreme Court disagreed – and it wasn’t even close – in a 7-2 judgment. Ouch – not only shut down, but with the consent of Justices Sotomayor and Bader Ginsberg. Sotomayor’s opinion was particularly well-written:
“When a public-sector union imposes a special assessment intended to fund solely political lobbying efforts, the First Amendment requires that the union provide non-members an opportunity to opt out of the contribution of funds.”
This ruling comes on the heels of a Denver Post editorial slam of the Douglas County Federation of Teachers (DCFT) who have gone crying to the labor department because they finally have to deal with a school board whose members' campaigns weren't bankrolled by union interests.
The Post editorial said having the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) intervene in the contract negotiation between the teachers union and the school board "would be a mistake" because "the state simply has no compelling reason to enter the fray and substitute its judgment for that of a locally elected school board."
Noting that the Executive Director of CDLE, Ellen Golombek, is a former labor official (AFL-CIO and SEIU), the Post hints at the conflict of interest there.
What they didn't mention is Ellen Golombek has already shown her willingness to act corruptly in the name of her friends in labor unions. A 9News investigation found that Golombek helped line up a $142,000 CDLE contract for a friend who she worked with at AFL-CIO and SEIU. While people waited for hours on hold for answers to their unemployment insurance questions, Golombek was helping her friend pull in six figures of taxpayer money for a job she showed up to the office for only two days in her first month.
No wonder DCFT is asking Golombek to intervene.
It's clear the education reform rockstars on the Douglas County School Board will hold the line, demanding the union stops using taxpayer resources to pay for their staff and help collect their campaign cash. So we guess we're looking at even more tough weeks ahead for unions in Colorado…