The Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) is dedicated to improving its ability to extract tax dollars from the state on behalf of the members that are required to pay dues to its member unions. After all, that’s what all unions do.
And nowhere is that more apparent than in the WSLC’s call to action for a rally in Olympia on February 20. In its pitch to members, the union leaders defined their top priorities with a list of investments they are demanding the state fund – yet, to quote from the Sesame Street song, “One of these things (is not like the others)”:
Here’s the WSLC “investment” list:
- Investment in schools, transportation, infrastructure, and public employees
Too easy, right? After all, the people of Washington State have consistently supported more spending for public schools, often directly through local levies, even though Democrats in Olympia have consistently underfunded those same schools for so long that they are under Supreme Court order (the McCleary decision) to adequately fund them. And support for raising the gas tax to pay for transportation and infrastructure improvements has been done consistently over the years.
However, making a higher “investment” in “public employees” has never shown up on a list of priorities for taxpayers. That isn’t to say that the vast majority of public employees demonstrate their value every day – from our first responders to the office workers toiling behind the scenes to serve the public.
It’s just that the WSLC approach of demanding all employees receive uniform pay raises, including pay increases just for showing up to work another year without regard for merit, don’t cause taxpayers to rise up and demand public employees be given more money.
And certainly they are not on par with the public’s support for public schools and transportation.