What the LMs Say About Union ‘Representation’ in Government

We’re just days away from the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus, the case that will decide whether local- and state-government employees must pay fees to the unions that “represent” them. (Mark Janus is pictured above.)

Ahead of the High Court’s determination, Errors of Enchantment clicked around on the U.S. Department of Labor’s searchable database of union financial-disclosure forms (LMs). What we found offered more evidence that coerced payments fund an awful lot of politics — and a shocking amount of labor-boss lucre.

The New Mexico Hospital and Health Care Unit of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employee (AFSCME) is a good place to start. Its receipts in fiscal year 2017 totaled $1,139,633. But it spent only $599,909, or 52.6 percent, on “representation.”

The statewide American Federation of Teachers (AFT) chapter collected nearly $1.2 million in receipts in FY 2017, while devoting just $615,116 to “serving” its “brothers and sisters” — a mere 51.5 percent of all expenditures. Stephanie Ly, the unit’s president, was paid $84,896 last year. (Check out her twitter account — you won’t be surprised by what you see.)

At the national level, AFSCME’s receipts were a jaw-dropping $199 million, of which the union spent $35 million — 17.6 percent — on “representation.” It paid its director of financial services $493,345. Its president got $320,708. Here in New Mexico, AFSCME rewarded “Political Action Representative” Carter Bundy — who’s more than a little obsessed with the Rio Grande Foundation — with a base salary of $124,374. (You’re not quite in Koch Brothers territory yet, Bundy, but at least you’re taking home nearly three times New Mexico’s median household income. Next stop: the top 1 percent!)

AFSCME’s mothership racked up some serious “Hotel / Lodging” costs in 2017. “Organizing,” “Union Administration,” and “Racial & Economic Justice” meetings were held all across the nation, in some pretty sweet locales, including Las Vegas, Boston, New Orleans, Austin, Miami, Denver, and Los Angeles.

There you have it, local and state “public servants.” Whether you want to or not, you’re paying for politics, staggeringly large compensation packages, and junkets to some of the nation’s best vacation spots. Janus threatens to change all that. Perhaps that’s why government unions “are using conspiracy-theory scare tactics to discredit the decision before it is handed down, cloak themselves in victimhood, and create a bunker mentality to keep their members in line.”

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