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If we care about employee freedom, we should care about Janus

In a little over a month, the Supreme Court is set to hear a momentous case on paying forced dues to public sector unions—Janus v. AFSCME. If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiff, Mark Janus, every government employee across the country will have the right to choose for himself or herself whether to give money to a union. Public sector unions have denounced the case, calling it a “political scheme” and a “threat to public workers.” Most recently, the case was criticized by Marietta English—a vice president for the national labor union American Federation of Teachers (AFT)—in a piece titled “If...

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Here’s an issue we can all agree on: End ridiculous, anti-competitive occupational licensing

Reforming excessive state-based occupational licensing requirement is the issue that has a U of M labor professor sounding like a disciple of Milton Friedman and expressing strong support for legislation supported by the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress. Work to fix this anti-competitive abuse begun under the Obama Administration but progress has been difficult since all this regulation takes place at the state level.  But now a recent court case has opened the door to action by Congress that could spur reform at the state level. Even so, it was a joy to read in today’s Star Tribune the brilliant op-ed...

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New Report: Over a Billion in Union Dues Spent on Left-Wing Politics from 2010-2016

Think about it: in a country that prides itself on protecting citizen’s free speech rights, which includes the right NOT to speak and the right NOT to associate with a group or political party, we force people to support the political agenda of unions in order to keep their job. That is just wrong—especially when it is the government that collects the dues for government unions like the NEA. ...

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Teachers Pension, on Downward Slide, Lowers Return Assumption: Admits to $9 Billion Deficit Even with Taxpayer Cash Aid

The Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) told legislators Friday that it wanted to drop its assumed rate of return from 8.5 to 7.5 percent. TRA Executive Jay Stoffel quietly and quickly informed the pension commission that the TRA board supported the change then quickly returned to his seat. TRA is the last public fund in the entire United States to assume 8.5%. ...

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Public Employee Unions Brace for Loss of Members and Money

One of the most pressing cases before the Supreme Court in 2018 involves the very survival as we know it of public employee unions like Education Minnesota. Center of the American Experiment has joined with the National Federation of Small Business and the Cato Institute in filing a legal brief in support of reversing the status quo and freeing teachers and other public employees from being forced to pay union dues to keep their jobs. Education Minnesota and other public employee unions are already laying plans to help offset what they expect to be a devastating loss in membership and revenue....

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U.S. Unfunded Pension Liabilities Exceed $6 Trillion: Minnesota’s Share is at least $118.7 Billion

With every paycheck, public employees faithfully hand over a percentage of their pay, and taxpayers match or exceed that contribution. Both should be able to trust that the pension funds, and State of Minnesota, have wisely set the right contribution rates, actually paid the full contribution each year and prudently invested the funds so when retirement comes, teachers, cops and the rest of our state and municipal workforce have the pension they were promised. ...

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Workplace Democracy for Minnesota’s Teachers is a Myth: Time to Update the Law

Teachers in the classroom today are being represented by an heirloom union that was selected by teachers a generation or more ago. Anyone old enough to watch the news back it the 1970’s will remember the Minneapolis teachers’ strike in 1970 –yes, we got our news from watching TV. Along with the latest on the Vietnam war, I would catch the news in the kitchen with my Mom when we were making dinner. ...

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Center of the American Experiment Joins Amicus Brief in Forced Union Fees Case Before U.S. Supreme Court, Unions Push Back

The Janus case is expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in January of 2018 so stay tuned. The case is first and foremost a defense of Free Speech and Liberty, which if successful, will begin to restore some sanity to our country. Why should public employees have to support the political speech of a union in order to keep their jobs? And what price have we paid for monopoly funding to government unions for the last 50 years? How has our electoral and legislative process been warped? ...

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