Labor unions are “special”

Kudos to the Albuquerque Journal for this informative article on the Albuquerque Teachers Federation’s astounding access to an array of very personal information about people who teach, but have made a conscious decision NOT to join the union.

We at the Rio Grande Foundation favor transparency, but our efforts to simply put names and salaries of public employees online are often criticized by government employee unions and their supporters. The union, on the other hand, has access to names, salaries, home addresses, and Social Security numbers for anyone who teaches in the Albuquerque Public Schools. The excuse is that due to collective bargaining, the union “represents” even non-members and thus needs their information to communicate with them. Sounds like just another reason to eliminate collective bargaining to me (as Gary Johnson did).

Replace, if you will, “Albuquerque Teachers Federation” with “Catholic Church.” If I’m a teacher, I can choose to affiliate with the union and/or the church. I can also choose not to do so. In a just world, the Church and the union would have equal access to teachers and those who wanted nothing to do with either would be left alone. But, unions are special and because of their political power are able to curry favor from politicians and those who they can exert pressure on. Collective bargaining is wrong and should be eliminated immediately. Unions should not be “special.”