The editorial comment in The Post-Journal on Friday, Jan.13, caught my eye. It begins "Americans ought to have the right to join labor unions and support them. But they also should have the right to say no to organized labor."
My coworker and I have been forced to join a collective bargaining unit we did not want to join.
I hold a position of school nurse at Chautauqua Lake Central School and on Oct. 31, 2011, the local teachers union filed a petition with the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) to have the two school nursing positions added to their union without our knowledge or consent.
While we made every effort to stop this action once we found out, and the Taylor Law (Public Employee's Fair Labor Law) clearly states (section 202) public employees have the right to refrain from forming, joining or participating in employee organizations, it apparently doesn't apply to us. The recent ruling by the administrative law judge ruled in favor of placing our positions in the local teachers union.
I have learned many of the local union members did not know about this petition either, and their organization's name is on it.
Union dues will be deducted from our pay after we sign a voluntary agreement to have them withheld. But if we don't sign the form, the union can petition to have us fired because we are not complying with the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining unit the district has (voluntarily!) agreed to recognize.
How voluntary is this?
Today we were advised by a co-worker (union member) that we need to get on the negotiating committee and tell the board we need a couple thousand dollars more in our pay to cover our losses.
Let me restate this. My coworker and I are suppose to demand more pay from the local taxpayers of our school district so the union can take some of our pay for their dues because we have been forced to join an organization we did not want to join.
How fair is this to the local taxpayers?
We fought hard to prevent this from happening. We understand how this benefits the union. What we don't understand is how NYS public employee labor law favors union positions over public employee rights.
We have no voice, no choice and no benefit, and the local taxpayer foots the bill.