Poll: Union Members Support Paycheck Protection

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

For Immediate Release
Commonwealth Foundation
Contact: Cindy Hamill
(856) 607-4208

Survey: Union Members Overwhelmingly SUPPORT Paycheck Protection!
Large majority want unions, not government, to collect their dues and campaign contributions

February 18, 2014, HARRISBURG, PA—As Pennsylvania’s union leaders rally and lobby against "paycheck protection"—a proposal to end the government collection of union dues and campaign contributions—a new survey reveals that union members themselves SUPPORT this labor law reform.

The statewide survey of union members and households, conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research between February 6 – 9, 2014, shows that union members agree that it is wrong to use taxpayer resources for political purposes, and an overwhelming majority believe their unions should collect dues, fees, and campaign contributions directly from employees.
"These survey results demonstrate union members themselves don’t want to be a part of the misuse of taxpayer resources," said Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation.

According to the union households surveyed:

• 80 percent don’t think taxpayer resources should be used to collect campaign contributions

• 72 percent think unions should collect dues themselves

• 58 percent support paycheck protection legislation

"In other words, the opposition of Pennsylvania’s union bosses to paycheck protection is not representative of their members’ positions," said Brouillette.
"I’m encouraged many union members feel this way. If teachers had paycheck protection more would pay closer attention to how the money is spent, accountability would improve . . . they [unions] would be more effective at helping teachers."

—Jodie, Special education teacher,
Central Dauphin School District

Currently, taxpayer resources are used to collect, bundle, and send union dues, fees, and campaign contributions to government unions like the PSEA, PFT, AFSCME, and SEIU, which then spend part of that money on politics and political advocacy. Paycheck protection legislation would take taxpayers out of union politics by requiring government unions to collect their own money.
"I think the survey results are fantastic! Definitely provides the confidence lawmakers need to pass this bill."

—Julie, Teacher and former union representative,
Central Dauphin School District

"Teachers and other public employees understand that their union bosses will be more accountable and their interests will be better protected if lawmakers vote with them and pass paycheck protection," Brouillette said. "Public employees know paycheck protection will benefit them. So how can these union bosses continue justifying this exclusive political privilege? And how can lawmakers justify allowing them to do so?"