Oklahoma Presses on Reform

Taxpayers in Oklahoma cannot afford the political monopoly of government union officials to squeeze more money from their pockets. That’s why the state is close to enacting House bill 1593, a bill that would end Oklahoma’s requirement that large cities engage in bargaining with union officials for “non-uniformed” government workers. The bill has passed the House and Senate and will be signed by the governor.

The legislation is a perfect example of how the union bosses benefit from the law but ultimately the law costs workers. Passed in 2004, a provision required cities with a population more than 35,000 to recognize a union. “Prior to this, the city always had a good relationship with its non-uniform employees,” Nancy Nichols of the Municipal League said. “Negotiations with AFSCME has cost the city in legal fees from arbitration hearings with the union,” Nichols said. “That’s money that could be spent on employment and raises if we weren’t fighting with them,” Nichols said.

The union bosses are talking to lawyers about a lawsuit, of course.