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Dismantling the Union Monopoly: Wis. teachers union to lay off 40% of staff

For years, the Wisconsin Education Association Council maintained a virtual monopoly on Wisconsin’s education system, raking in $25 million in union dues from teachers in 2009. Moreover, it also controls an insurance trust called the WEA Trust, which gave the union the ability to “sell” (though negotiations) school districts health insurance for teachers–often at a premium price.

Of course, most Americans never heard about this fleecing of taxpayers during the union-Democratic temper tantrum in Madison earlier this year.

Well, as they say, elections have consequences. Or, in the case of Wisconsin, elections have benefits, especially when unions doubled-down and lost.

According to WHBL in Sheboygan, WEAC’s monopoly has suddenly shrunk, thanks to Scott Walker’s government-union reform law:

Wisconsin’s largest teachers’ union plans to lay off 40% of its staff members.

Director Dan Burkhalter of the Wisconsin Education Association Council said Monday that 42 people who work for the union had received layoff notices. And he blamed it on what he called Governor Scott Walker’s “union-busting” legislation.

The law allows teachers in districts without ongoing contracts to bargain only for salaries at-or-below inflation. Employees no longer have to pay union dues, and most public unions must hold certification votes each year to stay in existence.

Burkhalter says WEAC is busy signing up members to stay with the group and voluntarily pay dues. He said the teachers’ union has made quote, “steady progress in signing up members” – and they expect even more progress once the school year begins in a couple weeks.

Since union dues are now voluntary (as opposed to pay-or-be-fired), WEAC is going back to the way unions were originally conceived–voluntary associations.

While today’s union bosses hate voluntarism, there was a time when they didn’t.

Ironically, it is the government (usually the antithesis of voluntarism) that is “forcing” voluntary association among Wisconsin government unions and the unions which are fighting it.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Cross-posted.

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