Liberals across the United States are up in arms about several State proposals that would limit collective bargaining rights for public worker unions. Legislation has been filed, and protested, in Ohio, Tennessee, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas and Indiana.
However, FOX News reported that the public outcry against these bills might be much ado about nothing. The Republican model being considered by many State legislatures is quite similar to the set of limitations placed on Federal employees. The Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) of 1978, which was passed by Democratic President Jimmy Carter, limited the collective bargaining rights of Federal workers.
No President or legislature has since overturned the CSRA because, according to a USA Today report, Federal employees are doing just fine. The news provider estimated that Federal workers out-earn their private-sector counterparts in the same jobs by an average of $7,000 per year. In regards to benefits, Federal employees, on average, earned approximately $30,000 more than their private-sector peers.
In addition, some GOP lawmakers are calling for the end of "closed shops," which require State employees to join a union. According to FOX News, the elimination of this system has alarmed many liberal politicians because a percentage of union dues, which are mandatory contributions from employees, fund Democratic election campaigns.
For example, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the 14 Democratic State Senators who have fled Wisconsin to protest Governor Scott Walker's budget have benefited from union dues in the past. Approximately 20 percent of all campaign funds raised by these lawmakers during the last two election cycles came from public employees, according to the news source.