ADDITIONAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS HURT TAXPAYERS
May 7, 2008
Taxpayers need to start questioning the financial stranglehold the collective bargaining process has on a budget. As governments cave to the high demands of big labor, there is less money available for states to operate, maintain current projects, and fix or repair failing infrastructure. Indeed, collective bargaining has affected Washington State's budget drastically, says the Evergreen Freedom Foundation:
- According to the Washington State Office of Financial Management, the total general fund for 2004 was just under $11.5 billion dollars.
- Of that amount, $1.9 billion was spent on state employee salaries and another $230 million was spent directly on state employee health benefits.
Payroll expenses immediately began to skyrocket when Washington State Public-sector unions were granted the right to negotiate exclusively with the governor's office in 2004:
- In 2007, general fund expenditures jumped to more than $14.1 billion dollars.
- Of that amount, $2.2 billion was spent on state employee salaries, while $330 million was spent directly on state employee health benefits -- these figures don't include K-12 education.
With Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and other labor organizations dragging private-sector industries to the public bargaining table, more tax dollars will be needed to cover increased contractual obligations, says the Foundation.
Source: Ryan Harriman, "Additional Collective Bargaining Rights Hurt Taxpayers," Living Liberty, April 2008.
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