Under Oregon labor law provisions authorizing monopoly bargaining in government workplaces, public employees who don’t wish to join a union are forced to allow union officials to negotiate with their employer over their pay, benefits, and working conditions. They are prohibited from negotiating on their own behalf.
There is no exception if the employer and employees who don’t belong to the union are all amenable to negotiating individual contracts. Individual contracts can be negotiated only if the union monopoly-bargaining agent grants permission.
Last year, a group of U.S. senators led by Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sought to amend the parallel provisions in the National Labor Relations Act authorizing private-sector monopoly bargaining by empowering unionized employees and employers to negotiate merit compensation raises based on individual achievement, without union bosses’ permission. Big Labor opposed the Rubio amendment vociferously and made sure it was defeated.
A reasonable person would conclude from the above information alone that monopoly bargaining is designed to benefit union officials, and often harms employees who don’t want a union. When it does benefit them, it does so only incidentally.
But the Oregon Supreme Court apparently believes its mission is to persuade citizens who may be voting on a ballot initiative next year that would bar the firing of public-sector employees for refusal to join or pay dues to a union that monopoly bargaining is something that has been foisted on union bosses, in exchange for which they may reasonably demand recompense.
Language just approved by the court for the proposed ballot initiative misleadingly suggests union bosses don’t insist on having monopoly-bargaining power to prevent unionized workers from getting paid above union scale, even though the record shows that Big Labor zealously defends that privilege:
Result of “Yes” Vote: “Yes” vote allows union-represented public employees who choose not to join union to refuse to share in costs of representation union legally must provide.
The reality the language selected by the Beaver State’s judicial spin doctors ignores is that public employees who don’t join a union are forced to accept union representation at the bargaining table, even if they have good reason to believe it harms them economically.
If the Oregon Supreme Court actually saw its sole mission in crafting ballot initiative language to be to help citizens understand the issue on which their voting, they would have acknowledged the fact that current law denies unionized civil servants the option to refuse the representation of a union they don’t want. Instead, the court evidently believes it has the prerogative to choose sides on policy issues, and leave out any facts that might harm the side it has chosen.