Don’t Care What You Call It Schaitberger, it’s NOT About Public Safety
Public-Safety Employees’ Freedom Under Fire
Will D.C. Politicians Override State Public Sector
Ever since he assumed control over the International
Association of Firefighters (IAFF) union nearly two decades ago, Harold Schaitberger
has battled to ram through Congress legislation federally mandating union
monopoly-bargaining control over state and local public-safety employees
But so far, despite the fact that Mr. Schaitberger and his
lieutenants have, without a doubt, successfully exploited their state
government-granted monopoly-bargaining privileges to build an extremely
powerful electioneering and lobbying machine, the IAFF union hierarchy has yet
to achieve its goal.
The key reason for IAFF bosses’ failure to pull off their
power grab yet is opposition from well-mobilized National Right to Work
In early 2009, at the outset of the presidency of relentless
forced-unionism advocate Barack Obama, passage of IAFF bosses’ so-called
“Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act” seemed, to almost everyone,
Police, Firefighters Would Be Dragooned Into Unions
In December of the following year, then-Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed a cloture motion to pave the way for final
passage of S.3991, a version of the IAFF scheme he had personally introduced.
It would have denied localities in all 50 states the option
to refuse to grant a single union the power to speak for all front-line
employees, including those who don’t want to join, in discussions with their
employer regarding most conditions of employment.
Union monopoly bargaining would have been foisted on
firefighters, police, and other public-safety employees nationwide. And in most
states that already authorize public-safety monopoly bargaining, S.3991 would
have widened its scope.
But S.3991 stalled in the face of the fierce resistance of
Committee members and supporters, who time and again flooded Capitol Hill with
letters, postcards, petitions, emails, faxes and phone calls calling on
Congress not to federalize public-safety monopoly bargaining.
This was a bitter defeat for Mr. Schaitberger.
In 2019, IAFF kingpins are ready to try again.
With dyed-in-the-wool Big Labor Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
once again calling the shots as speaker, they may confidently anticipate they
will not have much trouble getting a 2019 edition of the 2010 Reid bill through
the House of Representatives.
In the Senate, IAFF and other government union bosses will
attempt, through raw political intimidation, to browbeat enough Republicans to
go along with union-label Democrats to ensure congressional passage of a
federal public-safety monopoly-bargaining mandate.
Pervasive Government Sector Unionization Linked to
“Some time early this year,” predicted Committee Vice
President Greg Mourad, “anti-Right to Work Congressman Daniel Kildee [D-Mich.]
will introduce a measure that is identical, or nearly identical, to H.R.4846,
which he sponsored during the 2017-18 Congress.
“Mr. Kildee’s pet legislation would force countless state
and local policemen, firefighters and EMT’s to accept as their
monopoly-bargaining agent a union they never voted for, and want nothing to do
“It would also constitute a major step towards Big Labor’s
decades-old goal of enacting a federal law that hands union bosses monopoly
control over front-line state and local employees of all types, including
teachers, across America.
“And it would have horrible fiscal ramifications.
“There is a strong correlation between the share of a
state’s public employees who are subject to union rule and its indebtedness.”
Mr. Mourad cited “Unaccountable and Unaffordable,” an
analysis of state pension plans for the American Legislative Exchange Council
(ALEC) that was most recently updated in December 2017.
The data cited by ALEC shows that the seven states with the
least responsibly managed state pension systems have an average per capita
unfunded pension liability of $30,398, or nearly $12,000 above the national average.
In these seven states, as a group, roughly 52% of public
employees are under a union monopoly, compared to 38% nationwide.
Meanwhile, the seven states with the best-managed state
pension systems have an average per capita unfunded pension liability of
$10,129, or more than $8,400 below the national average. In these seven states,
as a group, roughly 23% of public employees are unionized.
Mr. Mourad vowed that Right to Work members and supporters
would go all out in 2019 to block passage of the Kildee bill:
“By mobilizing freedom-loving citizens across America, the Committee can once again muster the Capitol Hill support we need to save America from federally mandated union monopoly bargaining.”