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The Assaults on Unions Continue
January 10, 2012
New Year, New Attacks
Despite the overwhelming rejection of Issue 2 in Ohio, and the fact that voters in Wisconsin may very well be on their way to recalling Gov. Scott Walker as a result of his anti-union policies, extreme politicians around the country are continuing to push legislation that would make unions weak to obsolete.
On January 5, state legislators in North Carolina overrode a veto by Gov. Perdue to push through Senate Bill 727, legislation that prohibits the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) from automatically deducting dues from their paychecks.
The bill was viewed as a transparent attempt to curb the power of the NCAE, which has traditionally supported Democratic candidates.
In a statement, Gov. Perdue lamented, "I am saddened for the people of North Carolina that the Republicans abused their power and chose this destructive path."
Moreover, in Indiana, Republicans introduced so-called "right-to-work" legislation, which would ban contracts that require employees to pay union dues.
A January 7, 2012 editorial of the New York Times stated, "There is little doubt that politics is also behind the Republicans' push for right-to-work laws: they see an opportunity to further weaken unions, which are far more likely to support Democrats - as well as health care reform and a higher minimum wage - by slashing their funding and their donating power."
The Times article noted that the ultra-conservative, corporate-financed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has assisted Republicans around the country to push right-to-work as well as voter suppression bills. Groups like the Chamber of Commerce have also supported this kind of anti-union agenda.
Furthermore, despite the fact that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected petition language to put a right-to-work constitutional amendment on Ohio's 2012 ballot, it is almost certain that the group spearheading the effort, 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, will resubmit language that ultimately will be accepted.
While right-to-work laws have been applied differently in different states, the proposed constitutional amendment in Ohio would likely apply to both private and public sector unions.
Ohioans sent a strong message by rejecting Issue 2 by an overwhelming 61 percent, but right-wing extremists have not received the memo. It may take defeating another ballot issue and voting out the anti-worker politicians in the 2012 elections before we see cooperative solutions instead of partisan attacks.
Mark Your Calendar for the
Ohio Conference Annual Meeting
The Ohio Conference AAUP will host its Annual Meeting Friday, April 13 - Saturday, April 14 in Columbus. The Annual Meeting is a unique opportunity for Ohio AAUP members to gather, share information, and determine the direction and policies of the organization. An agenda and registration form will be available on our website soon.
Reminder: Call for Nominations to Serve on the Ohio Conference Board of Trustees
The Ohio Conference is seeking nominations for its upcoming Board of Trustees' elections.
The positions of President, Secretary, At-Large Member - Private Institutions, Chair of the Committee on Organizing, Chair of the Committee on Two-Year Institutions, and Chair of the Committee on Private Institutions are to be elected in 2012.
Nominations will close on January 30.