One of SEIU’s largest dues sources is its government-employee membership base. But SEIU’s interference in government costs everyone involved – including taxpayers and its own members.
The union’s threat to California’s budget – and safety – was apparent in 2007, when a state senator denounced SEIU’s lobbying plan for increased spending on prison guards by saying, “If we follow their suggestions, it will leave us with only one option – releasing prisoners early …” In May 2006, the Sacramento Bee editorialized against another SEIU lobbying effort to maintain budget-busting retirement plans:
Let’s consider some history here: In 1990, the union bosses held up passage of a state budget until lawmakers agreed to the problematic perk. Now the union bosses are threatening a divisive strike if that perk isn’t maintained indefinitely, regardless of its budget impact … they risk hurting the state – and all state employees – in the long run.
In fact, many state employees wish not to support SEIU’s tactics or political agenda. One Maine state employee founded a drive to escape the union and the fees it extracted from people who didn’t want to join the union:
Many of us feel that unions such as [SEIU] no longer represent our beliefs. They continually fail to protect state employees, while spending their considerable financial resources on issues only remotely related to their constituents.
SEIU’s selfish lobbying continually threatens to bloat government budgets and infringe on government employees’ rights across the nation:
- In Oregon, SEIU successfully lobbied the state’s governor into signing an executive order granting “card check” rights to organize lottery employees. After a court ruling decided lotto workers were not included in the order, employees voted in a secret ballot election – not to unionize with SEIU.
- SEIU topped the donation list to a campaign that would keep a retirement tax on the citizens of Watsonville, California.
- In Washington State, taxpayers are forced to pay for the time of state employees to negotiate against the state. According the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, Washingtonians were forced to pay for 154 missed days of work for SEIU negotiators.
- In 2006, the Boston Herald editorialized against a political campaign by SEIU to block much-needed reform of the state’s childcare services – and make it easier for SEIU to unionize more people. The Herald noted, however, that “Question 3 is clearly good for organized labor, but there is no compelling argument it will be good for kids. In fact the opposite is true.”
A 2007 fight in San Antonio sums up the problem. Following a drive to extend SEIU’s power, the San Antonio Express-News editorialized: “The whole exercise is unnecessary and boils down to a power grab by the SEIU.” A columnist from the same newspaper interviewed a person familiar with SEIU’s record elsewhere, leading the writer to suggest:
… he believes the consequences for San Antonians will ultimately include “expensive and to-hell-with-you” city government.
Not to mention office takeovers, blocked streets and memorable visits from bellicose out-of-town SEIU bosses with little to lose and a whole lot of Alamo City lucre to gain.