Archive for Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Another bill opposed by unions introduced as House gears up for debate on paycheck measure

January 29, 2013


— As the Kansas House prepares to debate one anti-union bill, another anti-union bill was introduced Tuesday.

The newest measure is House Bill 2123 and is called the "public employees freedom act." It is nearly identical to "model legislation" developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate backed group that describes its mission as promoting free markets, limited government, federalism and individual freedom “through a non-partisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government and general public.”

Colin Curtis, who works for the United Steelworkers of America, Local 307, tweeted that HB 2123 "Strips public employees of all collective bargaining rights."

Working Kansas Alliance said the measure would prohibit public workers, police and firefighters from bargaining to improve their wages and working conditions.

The bill's introduction comes as the House gears up for a debate Wednesday on House Bill 2023.

That bill would prohibit the Kansas National Education Association from taking voluntary paycheck donations from teachers and using those funds for political advocacy.

Supporters of HB 2023 said teachers were being coerced into signing over funds for political campaigning. Opponents of the measure denied that allegation and said the bill would make it more difficult for teachers and the state employee organization from participating in the political process.

The bill drew fire nationwide from labor advocates when Eric Stafford, a lobbyist for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, told a House committee, "I need this bill passed so we can get rid of public sector unions."


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

The Kochs' minions ratchet up their class warfare a couple of notches.

Mike1949 5 years, 4 months ago

More than that if you look at the history of Unions. Sure they have had their rough times, but they built the middle class. A State of republican equals all freedoms and equal rights thrown under the bus! Within 20 years, your going to see what equals labor camps with dawn to dusk low pay jobs. Don't believe me? Just watch!

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 4 months ago

I think that is hyperbole, Mike1949. Look at the history of Kansas. Unions have been active in this state nearly since its inception. I refer you to the coal mining strikes after the turn of the 20th century that led to the creation of the now-defunct Court of Industrial Relations and the Amazon Army of coal miner's wives. Kansas has spent more time in Republican control than either Populist or Democrat. One could reasonably surmise that unions will adapt, survive, thrive, and continue to represent their constituencies even if these bills pass.

Let's agree to meet here in 20 years time and see if there are "labor camps" with "low-paying jobs" that require workers to work "dawn to dusk." I seriously doubt that your fears will come to fruition.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

The facts are that unions nationwide have been under direct attack on every front for the last thirty years, and those attacks have dramatically reduced the number of workers who belong to unions. So it should be no surprise that the wages and benefits for the vast majority of Americans over that thirty years has declined, while the wealth of the 1%, and especially of the 0.1%, and even more so the wealth of the 0.01%, has increased dramatically in that same time period.

This action has only one goal-- decrease the ability of these public employee unions to advance their interests, which include the ability to effectively serve the public, so that government services can be dramatically reduced and even eliminated, purely for the benefit of folks like the Kochs.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps. However, even assuming that your assessment is 100% accurate, it bears little relation to Mike1949's assertions.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

I wasn't responding to his post. I was responding to yours. And you seem to be unaware of the very real agenda of Republican Party to reduce all unions, not just those of public employees, to a point of complete irrelevancy and impotence, which is not going to be good for anyone but the 1%, the 0.1% and especially the 0.01%.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 4 months ago

I realized that your response was to my post. My point was that your response was off the sub-topic as defined by '49s. It has the effect of treating my answer to '49 as a straw-man. This branch of the topic is about whether "a state of Republicans equals all freedoms and equal rights thrown under the bus." It is not about whether an attempt to moderate the influence of unions is under way. Thus the source of my confusion--you think better than this, and are better able to follow the main points of multiple branches in a thread than this.

Since we're off '49's subtopic, this section of the conversation is no longer productive, and it bores me slightly.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

But your assertion is that the plainly stated goal in this legislation, as voiced by the head of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, to eliminate public employee unions altogether will not come to fruition. If it they are successful in their stated goal, do you really think there will be unions in 20 years? (sorry if that question bores you.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Actually, it's primarily the businesses who are reneging on paying the pension benefits they agreed to and owe, not the unions.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Pension mismanagement is nothing unique to unions. It's also happened to corporate non-union pensions (Sometimes deliberately) and public plans. The economic downturn was not kind to any funds, and a lot of pensions ended up being handed toxic assets by greedy Wall Street firms during the mortgage collapse. I'd say workers of all stripes could benefit from some serious pension reform. The biggest problem with union pensions today is not that they are mismanaged but that they have a dwindling supply of union laborers that are paying into them.

Hostess did have exactly the mismanagement you describe - where the employer notified the employees that they were not paying into the pension and were diverting the funds "temporarily." It wasn't until they decided to not only make that diversion permanent but also cut everyone's pay drastically that the union went on strike.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago


I am shocked that many pension plans were invested with Madoff, for example.

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

It's not like anyone "...on the financial side for union companies for many years." could lack objectivity or even harbor bias toward those who bargained for wages and benefits that impacted the desired profitability levels of said companies...

sciencegeek 5 years, 4 months ago

Who are you talking about? The first sentence sounds like the Kansas legislature. The public unions don't have enough money to have any aristocrats in them, so who are you referring to?

question4u 5 years, 4 months ago

"...where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost."

Ronald Reagan Sept. 1, 1980

If the anti-American extremists of Kansas are suggesting that Ronald Reagan was too liberal, how far will they go? Welcome to third-world politics topped with a generous layer of hypocrisy.

windjammer 5 years, 4 months ago

No union should be allowed to hold the country hostage be it air traffic controllers or 600 clerical workers on the California ship docks. This being said from a long time union worker. Sorry I don't agree with you again rvjayhawk.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

This is one of the best things that could happen. My experience with unions, although there are some really good people in them, are bastions for malcontents and lazys. The union cares very little about its people. They are focused on the unions survival. When members are walking the picket lines their compensation is a fraction of what they are used to. Many run up financial problems that last for years while the union bosses are vacationing somewhere. Does anyone think the union bosses take a pay cut while their members are walking the picket lines?

John Kyle 5 years, 4 months ago

sounds like your experience with unions was watching "Hoffa" on HBO

Cindy Wallace 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree with "Cant_have_it_both_ways"....Unions are BIG business, they are in it for HUGE profits just like BIG Corporations!

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

And I see that you have equally BIG links to DATA and CITATIONS to back up the claim. Oh wait. You just have ALL CAPS, so I'm sure what you say is credible.

Bridgett Walthall 5 years, 4 months ago

"the union" singular - you're really going to lump every single union in the country into this category? SOME unions are focused on survival. SOME employees are "malcontents and lazies", union or non-union. SOME unions have financial corruption. SOME unions suck, but not all of them. You're over-generalizing.

somebodynew 5 years, 4 months ago

While that MIGHT be true for private sector unions - keep in mind (at this point anyway) this is dealing with public sector unions. Which in Kansas do NOT have the right to strike and walk picket lines. What is being talked about is people who have fought long and hard for pretty basic rights, which I see going away pretty quickly if all of these bills pass.

sciencegeek 5 years, 4 months ago

You must be talking about private unions. Public employees can't strike, therefore they don't picket. Some have taken vacation time off to rally a the Statehouse, but then have paid a price for exercising their free speech.

There have been union abuses, but not by public unions in Kansas. Painting them unfairly with a broad brush is how the conservatives are getting support to destroy what's left of them. Maybe if the people of Kansas would do their homework instead of drinking whatever koolaid is coming from the Capitol, we wouldn't be kn the mess we're in.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 4 months ago

Who has been retaliated against for exercising Free Speech? I am not aware of a single instance of this happening.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

While we are at, might as well roll back everything the trade union movement struggled for decades to achieve, such as occupational safety laws, health insurance, the minimum wage, the 40 hour work week, child labor laws, paid vacations, etc.

Those evil union people. With them gone, the good and decent millionaires can make even more money.

Bridgett Walthall 5 years, 4 months ago

and these bills are small steps in that direction. take away dues-checkoff and people have to make an extra effort to pay dues manually instead of having them taken automatically from their pay. that's what is going on here, and it means a little less $ for unions. legislators are leaving out the part where union members have the right to say that they don't want their dues used for political activities - they say members are being coerced, which is not entirely true.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 5 years, 4 months ago

With all due respect I think if you check you'll find that the Ford Motor Company introduced the 40 hour work week and most of the child labor laws were for women and children and hence the feminist movement has crap canned those. You might to take a look at an investigative series The Kansas City Star did on greed in union leadership.

Certainly the labor movement has done wonders for the American worker, but unfortunately its leadership often abused their privileges and behaved in rather heavy handed methods that alienated the very people they sought to organize.

There is also the distinction between private sector unions where you have conflict between labor and management and public sector unions where often management is in cahoots with the union, to the detriment of the taxpayer.

Again, sadly, the excesses of the labor movement have been its undoing and this legislation, along with similar legislation in labor strongholds in Wisconsin and Michigan, seem to be a response to those excesses.

I say that, incidentally having been a proud member of multiple unions.

sciencegeek 5 years, 4 months ago

" public sector unions where often management is in cahoots with the union, to the detriment of the taxpayer."

Where? Are you saying that the state, county, city and school boards are on the side of the unions? Then why are the making laws and/or policies that are hostile to the employees? City and county employees make get the occasion raise, but state employees haven't gotten one in at leas 6 years. And they're all covered by KPERS, which is being attacke3d because management, the Legislature, hasn't paid in what the promised in years?

Wisconsin and Michigan aren't Kansas. The public unions here don't have much power, and in some cases (ex. state employees), none at all. Bet you weren't a member of multiple public unions in Kansas.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Please check your facts. The 40 hour week was clearly the efforts of a labor movement that began long before the automobile was invented.

Yes, Henry Ford did voluntarily institute a forty hour week for his workers in 1926, but it was done as a preemptive measure in light of the efforts of the organized labor movement begun much earlier.

Claudean McKellips 5 years, 4 months ago

Out-of-state, moneyed interests like ALEC and AFP have opened their checkbooks; therefore, legislators will no longer be interested in any of the wants or needs of Kansas constituents.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 4 months ago

Sometimes there are slipups, one from a state we are emulating....

ALEC mission statement language included in bills In November 2011, Florida State Representative Rachel Burgin (R), introduced legislation to call on the federal government to reduce its corporate tax rate. The text still included the boilerplate "WHEREAS, it is the mission of the American Legislative Exchange Council to advance Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty..."[25] The bill was quickly withdrawn, the phrase removed, and was resubmitted as HM717...

oldexbeat 5 years, 4 months ago

The Koch Brothers Inc that own the Kansas government and the governor and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce (boycott HyVee as a start, by the way -- until they drop out of that Chamber) and they own AELC, too. The legislature is now the pinched nosed bitter fat bald white men and women. They hate every one. And they really don't like working men and women, but have used religion to trick them into giving up all their money and minds. Wow. Sure glad I don't have to support a family now from the wages that are going to be lower and lower in Kansas. And the brain drain -- oh well, Koch Brothers don't like brains.

KSManimal 5 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of HyVee, who claim to not approve of this union-busting nonsense, guess who had an extravagant lunch buffet and a nice "thank you, legislators" sign...just outside the committee room where this bill was introduced yesterday.

Give ya a hint: it wasn't NOT HyVee.

costello 5 years, 4 months ago

Who was it? I'll add them to my list of businesses not to patronize. HyVee, Dillons, Aldi, Target, and Walmart all belong the Kansas Chamber.

costello 5 years, 4 months ago

I just noticed the double negative. Are you saying that HyVee provided the lunch and a thank you sign for the committee discussing the very bill that HyVee sent me an email claiming they didn't support?

nascar 5 years, 4 months ago

It was HyVee. Quite a nice spread with a large thank you sign to the legislators.

goob 5 years, 4 months ago


Governor Sam Brownback and republicans in the Kansas legislature are seeking to put an end to all unions in Kansas. HB 2023 and SB 31 are a direct attempt at silencing the hard working men and women of Kansas. As the Kansas Chamber of Commerce lobbyist, Eric Stafford freely admitted in committee "I need these bills to pass so that we can get rid of public sector unions", it's time to put an end to the war on Kansas workers.

That's why I signed a petition to The Kansas State House, The Kansas State Senate, and Governor Sam Brownback.

Will you sign this petition? Click here:


sciencegeek 5 years, 4 months ago

Can't. Still have family members working there. If my name got linked back to them, they could lose their jobs.

Or did you think this administration wouldn't do such a nasty, unholy thing?

irvan moore 5 years, 4 months ago

the tactic of portraying the union members as thugs while trying to take away the quality of life from the union members and their families is pretty low even for this legislative body

usesomesense 5 years, 4 months ago

Unfortunately teachers are one of sectors of public employment that would have a huge impact from this. Since the state virtually has a monopoly on K-12 education it would be very difficult for the majority of teachers to just go work for another employer.

This is another measure to destroy Kansas' public education program. Keep reducing funds to schools which will result in pay cuts to teachers. The best teachers will either get lucky and be able to work at a private school or change careers.

Once the good teachers are gone and all of our schools are failing standardized tests the voucher system will start flowing - giving a very nice 'discount' to elite private schools, while the general public will only be able to afford the few schools that accept at or near the value of the voucher for tuition. When those schools can't pass standardized tests due to lack of resources they'll lose certification and 'restructure' - shuffling some teachers around and management, all the while pumping out more kids without basic skills while those of wealth free up more of their income for whatever they desire - creating jobs or hitting the ski slopes. After the last few years I'm betting most have missed some of their big vacations and would prefer to take those and put off creating new jobs.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Many? Really? And what classifies as harassment? Pointing out that without a union, the quality of life for teachers and of education for students would be greatly diminished?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago


Of course it's true that if non union members get benefits that have been negotiated by the union, they're essentially "free riders".

That's why I believe that non union members shouldn't be entitled to any such benefits - if they don't want to join the union, that's fine, but they shouldn't be able to "free ride".

If that were the case, would you still choose not to join the union?

Deb Engstrom 5 years, 4 months ago

The truth is that teachers really do need to join LEA/KNEA/NEA for liability reasons if nothing else. While LEA negotiates salaries for everyone, members and non-members alike, if there is a dispute with a parent/administrator/student you cannot receive representation nor do you have a comprehensive liability insurance. As a long-time teacher, I feel is is my irresponsibility to make those things clear to my colleagues. If that constitutes harrassment, so be it.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, there's a clear difference between informing people, and pressuring them.

You can easily explain the situation as you understand it without the pressure, if you want to do that.

If some prefer not to join, and not to have the benefits you describe, that's up to them. I'd prefer it if they didn't have any union derived benefits without joining.

hannahss 5 years, 4 months ago

I have also seen teachers who chose not to join . Then when things get rough, they are desperate for the protection the union offers. All it takes is one vindictive administrator to make your life unbearable, and it takes a long time in most cases to remove that administrator. Really good teachers can be targeted by someone who has a destructive, jealous agenda. Even with union protection I chose to leave teaching because of situations like that.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Tell me how they are pressured and harassed.

GUMnNUTS 5 years, 4 months ago

Total B.S. My significant other has taught in 497 for 15 years and has never been part of the union and nobody is trying to harass her to join. Make up some more fairytales.

skull 5 years, 4 months ago

Harassment is rampant these days, with the girl scouts harassing you to buy their cookies and such...where do they get off?????? I mean some little girl practically stalks me around town, pounding on my door, interrogating me in front of chinamart. And all for a box of cookies so some random person's kid can go camping. I can't imagine how the harassment must be if the little girl was actually raising money to protect my professional interests...unbearable. No wonder these government types "hear stories" about how tortuous it is.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

I know many people that feel pressured and compelled to join a church and tithe. Let's ban those!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

What the media fails to spell out is this bill and ALEC are all about reducing wages on workers across the USA.

Why do anti American Republicans want USA white and blue collar workers to work for less money? So USA corporations can show larger profits = another republican big government facist activity.

Republicans are not only selfish,insensitive,Anti American they are flushing the American Dream down the toilet.

What about American Legislative Exchange Council/ALEC?

ALEC currently claims more than 250 corporations and special interest groups as private sector members. While the organization refuses to make a complete list of these private members available to the public, some known members include:


  • Exxon Mobil
  • the Corrections Corporation of America
  • AT&T
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Time Warner Cable
  • Comcast
  • Verizon
  • Phillip Morris International
  • Koch Industries
  • along with a host of right-wing think tanks and foundations.




Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

So, while the membership appears to be public sector, the bankroll is almost entirely private sector. In fact, public sector membership dues account for only around one percent of ALEC’s annual revenues. ALEC claims to be nonpartisan, but in fact its free-market, pro-business mission is clear.

The result has been a consistent pipeline of special interest legislation being funneled into state capitols. Thanks to ALEC, 826 bills were introduced in the states in 2009 and 115 were enacted into law.

Behind the scenes at ALEC, the nuts and bolts of lobbying and crafting legislation is done by large corporate defense firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. A law firm with strong ties to the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, it has long used ALEC’s ability to get a wide swath of state laws enacted to further the interests of its corporate clients.

ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often at the expense of consumers. For example, ALEC has worked on behalf of:

-- * Oil companies to undermine climate change proponents.

-- * Pharmaceutical manufacturers, arguing that states should be banned from importing prescription drugs.

-- * Telecom firms to block local authorities from offering cheap or free municipally-owned broadband.

-- * Insurance companies to prevent state insurance commissioners from requiring insurers to meet strengthened accounting and auditing rules.

-- * Big banks, recommending that seniors be forced to give up their homes via reverse mortgages in order to receive Medicaid.

-- * The asbestos industry, trying to shut the courthouse door to Americans suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

-- * Enron to deregulate the utility industries, which eventually caused the U.S. to lose what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated as $5 trillion in market value.


newmedia 5 years, 4 months ago

To quote another champion of the little guy "What difference does it make".....

sciencegeek 5 years, 4 months ago

None of the teachers I know have been pressured to join KNEA. Many join because of the professional insurance it provides.

What I DO know is that state employees, who effectively have no union, have been intimidated, pressured and put down by this administration since Day One. They dare not speak out, even in private. The threat of dismissal is ever-present. They're leaving in droves, taking their knowledge with them. Consequently, the state is in trouble on many fronts, but no one dare speak. If something breaks, it isn't because of understaffing or underfunding--it's those darned incompetent employees. Those that have left dare not speak either; any friends or relatives still in the state's employ may pay the price. In other words, they no longer have the right to Free Speech, not in this state.

This administration is ruthless. ALEC and Koch rule. What's being done to teachers should come as no surprise to anyone.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

There are at least 12 other states with radical right wing governors such as Brownback trying to pull off the very same agenda. It's a Koch/ALEC orchestrated movement.

Explain how lower wages make an economy strong and resilient?

Are YOU willing to work for way less?

Why isn't corp USA cutting CEO and BOD wage packages by 75% instead of hitting on worker wages? CEO's could easily survive on a 75% pay cut.

Why isn't corp USA cutting golden parachutes 100%?

Why isn't corp USA cutting special interest campaign donations?

Why isn't corp USA cutting corp jets from their budgets?

Why isn't corp USA eliminating retirement pay from the wealthy CEO's and BOD's retirement packages?

IF all USA workers refused to go to work for 60 days the nation and tons of those in the 1% would likely be filing bankruptcy. Workers are the most important piece of the economic pie.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Seems to me that these sorts of bills are blatantly unconstitutional.

Individuals have the right to speech, assembly and petition, as do groups of individuals organized to do that, and apparently even corporations have them these days.

Unions, and/or union employees meet virtually all of the above criteria.

Since contributions that go towards political activity are voluntary, there's no real issue I can see.

If Wal-Mart and other large corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money on political activity, what's the justification for denying that right to unions?

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

ssteve brushes mullet back from his sweaty brow, ignites cigarette lighter and yells "Play Free Bird"...

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

The repub party,Koch Brothers, ALEC are waging war on salaries for white and blue collar workers. IF they are successful in doing away with unions, workers in the USA will see a dramatic reduction in wages across the board for blue and white collar workers.

Union or not reduction in wages across the board is the primary objective.

Do you want to work for less? Unions are responsible for good wages in the USA and:

  1. over time pay
  2. 40 hour work weeks as opposed to 80
  3. Vacation with pay
  4. Sick leave with pay
  5. Medical insurance coverage
  6. Pay Increases
  7. Job protection based on legitimate concerns
  8. Protection against race and gender discrimination
  9. Disability Pay

Who wants to work for less?

How can lower wages pay back college loans?

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

That's no way to talk about company management, rv, especially the do lousy work part ;-)

But if you must, be sure to add: 14, three hour/martini lunches, 15. padding the old expense statement, 16. fraudulently mismanaging company finances & investments, 17. management retreats/junkets for all those problems that simply can't be solved in a meeting room at the home office, 18. excessive pay/benefits for senior management and 19. diddling the "Administrative Assistant" because after all; you're entitled to do so. RHIP, right?

William Weissbeck 5 years, 4 months ago

Let's get a few definitions understood. Capitalism and free markets are not one in the same. Capitalists do not favor transparency (what they can hid under the guise of trade secrets, or construct through market manipulation, all the better), oppose government oversight or regulation (let the "best man" win, by whatever means the "market" allows), and clearly will pursue monopoly whenever, wherever possible. A person who wants free markets believes in transparency of information available to all market participants (and consumers), regulation by an impartial body (a government) to insure that all market participants play by the same set of rules and disclosures, because they understand that markets don't regulate themselves, and above all accept as a fact that participants in the market do not have equal bargaining power, but there is nothing inherently anti-business for individuals to group together to improve their bargaining power.

notajayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

Despite the usual rhetoric of Mr. Rothschild in referring to HB2123 as an "anti-union" bill (and the immediate chiming in from the usual lemmings), the bill in no way "Strips public employees of all collective bargaining rights." It merely outlaws employees being forced to participate. Perhaps a real reporter, especially one supposedly covering government and legislative affairs, would have actually read the proposed legislation, instead of shilling for the United Steelworkers.

Bridgett Walthall 5 years, 4 months ago

"merely outlaws employees being forced to participate" Please explain how the current laws force employees to participate in unions.

sciencegeek 5 years, 4 months ago

That implies that they are being forced to participate. There's no proof of that, and a long of evidence to the contrary.

This is just another red herring being thrown out by the ultra-conservatives.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree that it is a red herring, and not a very compelling argument. Likewise, I believe the accusation of retaliation by this administration against employees for exercising their rights is also a red herring. If nothing else, this is an administration of law. From the outside looking in, it appears to me that they know it, they adhere to it and they respect it, even when they disagree with it.

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

"If nothing else, this is an administration of law. From the outside looking in, it appears to me that they know it, they adhere to it and they respect it, even when they disagree with it.

That's why they ensured the public schools were adequately financed as ordered by the KS SC, right? That's why they're trying to change the way appellate judges are chosen, right? Because they know, adhere to and respect the laws, even when they disagree with them. Yep.

Centerville 5 years, 4 months ago

Why can't they "participate in the political process" like everyone else and give money directly to the causes and candidates that they, individually, support. Unless they do that, they aren't even coming close to participating.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Why shouldn't they be able to voluntarily pool their resources? You know, just like corporations and private industry groups can do? Or do you think that should be prohibited, as well?

Bridgett Walthall 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, um....they can, first of all. I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at here, but employees who are members of unions, but don't want their dues to be used for political causes, have every right and the ability to decline full membership and pay for only the cost of representation. I'm not saying all unions make it particularly easy to do so, but no one is being forced to participate in the political process against their will.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Go into politics. I hear it's a lucrative career.

skull 5 years, 4 months ago

but they've heard so many "stories"

Linda Endicott 5 years, 4 months ago

"Working Kansas Alliance said the measure would prohibit public workers, police and firefighters from bargaining to improve their wages and working conditions."

What kind of idiot would introduce legislation like this? Do they want a worker uprising on their hands?

So if HB 2123 is passed, does this mean that the legislature can no longer vote in their own pay raises? They can no longer decide what days they will or will not work? They are all public employees, after all...

And what is the American Legislative Exchange Council anyway, except another type of union?

sciencegeek 5 years, 4 months ago

There will be no worker uprising. The heavy-handed tactics that have been used by the neocons have public employees all afraid for their jobs.

Legislators are public employees the same way that Queen Elizabeth is an employee of Great Britain.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

66-54 is no Land slide,Can't. It almost did not pass by 4 votes out of 125 in A REPUBLICAN Dominated Legislature( A Super Majority). This is not over. Constitutionality will be the next test. If it were constitutional the Legislature would not have to resort to Back stair exits, No Name Tags and Heightened security. They KNOW!

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

You really believe this when a similar bill was found to be constitutional in Wisconsin? The legislature was smart not to wear nametags, I would guess mostly to avoid confrontations that would expose protesters to arrest.

Put yourself into the business owners place. You take your retirement, hawk your house or some other way put up the capitol so you can employ mostly ungrateful know more than you types. Your family goes hungry so you can pay these workers when times are bad. You take all the risk, gambling on your dream and those you choose to employ. Put up with regulation after regulation. Fire some thief, then have to pay them unemployment for God knows how long. While all along pay employee taxes and hoping that your workers give you a good days work every day so you can keep the lights on while they are stealing toilet paper from the bathroom. Then they band together and do their best to screw you by forming a collective bargining group. There is no wonder why companies shut down and move. Rinse and repeat. Most employeers would be grateful to have at least 30% of their workforce be grateful they have a job.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

Are You Speaking from Personal Experience Or Making this Up? If you are making this up,I understand and can believe that. If you are speaking from personal experience, then I AM sorry for you. Sounds Like a bad experience.You MAY have had some of the worst examples of workers known to man come through your doors. That DOES NOT make all workers as you describe them.

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

How does one "hawk their house"? Crimson & blue paint?

FYI, an employee fired for cause (e.g. theft) is not eligible for unemployment benefits. If you were an employer you would likely know that. Your comments are just another example of the neo-con "oppressed job-creators" mythology.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

I guess when you spend your working years stacking bags on the end of a line somewhere, chatting with the guy who lives in the trailer park, you really don't get an full understanding on how unemployment works.

You might educate yourself.

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

I've spent many years doing physical labor such as working cattle & farming, concrete flatwork, carpentry or oil field work. While I left that for more academic pursuits long ago, I am very familiar with what constitutes a hard day's work, co-workers who live in trailer parks or studio apartments and the Kansas unemployment laws.

Many years ago I received unemployment benefits. Not because I wasn't ready and willing to work. Rather it was because our company's owner would shut us down for 2-3 weeks at a time, then start working again in the middle of the week so employees would earn just enough to become ineligible for benefits and not have enough hours to earn overtime pay. We'd work for 2-3 weeks then shut down again for indefinite periods. So you go file another claim, put in your waiting week and start the cycle all over...

Here's a link to the Kansas unemployment laws:

You might, and I stress the word "might", use them to educate yourself. Somehow I doubt it. As for your alleged personal experiences, if an employer is either too stupid to learn the laws or too lazy to contest the unemployment claim of a worker fired for cause, that's on them. Employee theft is clearly "misconduct" or "gross misconduct".

"You are not eligible for unemployment benefits if you are discharged (fired) for misconduct connected with the work, effective the day after your separation, and continuing until you become re–employed and have insured earnings of at least three times your weekly benefit amount.

• "Misconduct" is defined as a violation of a duty or obligation reasonably owed the employer as a condition of employment.

• "Gross misconduct" is defined as extreme, willful or wanton misconduct.

Note: The disqualification for gross misconduct will remain in effect until you are re–employed and have earnings of at least eight times your weekly benefit amount. In addition, all wage credits earned from the employer who discharged you for gross misconduct are canceled."

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

People who are fired don't qualify for unemployment.

Only those who lose their job through no fault of their own are eligible for those benefits.

cmorriskc 5 years, 4 months ago

I was appalled when I read the substance of HB2123, the so-called “Public Employees Freedom Act”. This bill almost re-enacts slavery in the government workplace.

If we can be arrested if we protest, that is not freedom. If we cannot sign our name on a document because it deals with collective bargaining, that is not freedom. I suggest that the provisions in this bill actually violate my constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association.

This would be another black eye for Kansas and subject us to even further ridicule than we already receive. A bronx cheer to the Tea Party ding-dongs who came up with this one.

cmorriskc 5 years, 4 months ago

What it says rockchalk1977 is that government employees who are members of bargaining units value our freedoms. We can stand up to the brutal oppression of the Billionaire Boys Club because we have the freedom of the ballot box to protect our rights, unlike the poor stiffs in the private sector.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Teachers work. They deserve to be paid reasonable wages for their work. Expecting to get paid reasonably for that work is not "strong arming."

But, apparently, you believe that teachers (and all other public employees) should live in poverty just so you can reduce your taxes.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

How about doing what you can to make yourself valuable to your employer instead of acting like you know more than they do. How about giving them a good days work for you pay and see where that takes you? Your employeer needs you as bad as you need him but if you don't perform, then he has no choice but to replace you. You see, the decision is yours and only yours. If you don't like where you work do something about it. Remember you asked your employeer to work for him, he did not ask you.

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

"Remember you asked your employeer to work for him, he did not ask you."

Do you know what a head hunter does or what a job offer is? My current employer both sought me out and requested my services. I've been here almost twenty years. Must have done something right, huh?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Really, it's very simple to find out what the requirements are for collecting unemployment benefits.

They include not being fired for cause.

bad_dog 5 years, 4 months ago

While simple, such research still requires initiative and the desire to know the truth rather than merely accepting what you're told or want to fantasize as reality.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago


It's rather frustrating to me - I understand a certain amount of ignorance, but willful ignorance and denial of reality is another thing entirely.

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