Next step in Indiana’s war on unions

Credit the Indiana Chamber of Commerce with being the first to remind us, this legislative season, of the immortal words of Henry Adams: “Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.”

How else does one explain the chamber’s current push to ban the practice of deducting union dues from the paychecks of Indiana school teachers? The Indianapolis Star reports Sunday that the business group has made the issue a top priority for the legislative session that starts in January.

Chamber President Kevin Brinegar tells the Star that government entities, such as school corporations, “shouldn’t be in the business of collecting union dues or, particularly, political contributions.” Maybe or maybe not, but isn’t that a decision that local elected officials can make?

No one is forcing school districts to deduct dues from the paychecks of teachers who voluntarily choose to join the Indiana State Teachers Association or the smaller Indiana Federation of Teachers. If districts are offering to make the deductions, it’s because local school boards have agreed to do so.

And teachers can’t be required to join the union or pay representation fees, even though the unions must represent all teachers covered by local contracts, whether they’re union members are not. That “right to freeload” was written into law Continue reading

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