-By Warner Todd Huston
Well, here is a victory against union thuggery. The Texas Attorney General’s office has released an opinion (GA-0774) that prevents school districts from implementing automatic payroll deductions as directed by teachers unions from the paychecks of teachers for union spending on political action committees.
Here’s the most relevant paragraph as it appears in the summary at the end of the decision. (download .pdf file)
Because the Legislature has not expressly or impliedly authorized school districts to process payroll deductions for contributions to political committees such as TSTA-PAC and NEA-Fund, Texas laws prohibits school districts from processing such contributions.
So teachers unions in the Lone Star State will no longer be allowed to forcefully remove money out of teachers’ paychecks to that they can spend it on left-wing political causes. This decision will not prevent teachers from individually sending their dues to political causes nor will it prevent unions from spending on PACs and political causes but it will prevent the schools from using school resources to make the deductions and for using school accounting departments to keep track of those deductions.
By its very nature this will take a big bite out of the millions that teachers unions have available to spend on left-wing causes because teachers will have to expressly provide for unions to spend that political money instead of having it simply taken without their ability to direct it personally.
Naturally, the unions are crying foul saying that Texas is somehow stepping on people’s right to “political participation.” Of the automatic payroll deductions the union said…
“This practice, which promotes a school employee’s constitutional right to political participation, has been going on for 20 years without any problem,” said Richard Kouri, TSTA’s public affairs director. “We can only conclude that Attorney General Abbott is playing politics in an election year by impeding teachers’ First Amendment rights. But why?”
“Been going on for 20 years”? That is their excuse to keep ripping off their members? Does “been going on for years” somehow make it right? I don’t think so. Humanity has been doing many things “for years” without it being righteous action!
But the union’s first point is by far a more egregious assault on logic. They excused the deductions by saying that the practice “promotes a school employee’s constitutional right to political participation.” Uh, no it actually denies the employee’s constitutional right to political participation because it summarily removes the employee’s money and spends it without his express direction! Further this new Texas rule does not prevent an employee from “political participation” in any way whatsoever, anyway. For a union that promotes education, this union sure doesn’t make any logical sense, does it?
In any case, this is a great victory and Texas joins other states with measures to prevent unions from automatically deduction money from members’ paychecks for political spending without the express permission of those members.
God Bless Texas!
Bob Schoolfield of the blog at LetsChooseSchools.com was instrumental in getting this victory against union thuggery finished in Texas and you can read his story of how long this decision took to come to fruition (26 months) and the many offices and politicians he had to deal with to get it done, but it has at last gotten done after a long road of “political participation.”
(H/T Kathleen McKinley of Right Wing News)