Measure Adds Transparency and Accountability for Public Unions
JEFFERSON CITY— The Missouri State Senate advanced a pro-worker bill this week to add transparency to government labor unions and ensure employees are in control of their hard-earned money. Known as the Government Worker Protection Act, this measure creates a number of protections for workers and for taxpayers.
Senate Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said by passing this measure, the Senate shows its commitment to creating a more business-friendly environment in the Show-Me State.
“Our goal is to be at the top of the list of final destinations when businesses are considering a move,” said Richard. “We want to become a national model and powerhouse for economic growth. This measure gives us another tool to help foster a better working environment for our communities, businesses and Missouri families.”
House Bill 1413 contains a number of pro-worker provisions to make public unions more accountable. The paycheck protection provision gives workers the freedom to opt into paying dues and financially supporting political activity. The bill also contains a recertification process provision which requires efficient and cost-effective elections every three years, guaranteeing Missouri public union members have a voice in who represents them. The measure also enhances transparency by ensuring tentative agreements are discussed in detail during public meetings prior to the agreements being presented for ratification by an exclusive bargaining representative. Further, HB 1413 limits contracts to three years, ending the practice of evergreen clauses, and applies standards of financial transparency that are currently required of private sector unions.
The bill handler, Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, said these accountability measures are especially important because government union membership is growing and now exceeds that of the private sector.
“Government unions are not held to the same standards of transparency and accountability as their counterparts in the private sector,” said Onder. “Missourians should know how government unions spend their money. House Bill 1413 not only ensures transparency, but it empowers the individual employees to be in control of their hard-earned money.”
Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said this bill contains numerous checks and balances on the power of government unions and closes loopholes.
“By reforming some of our state’s labor laws we are fundamentally changing the way Missouri conducts business,” said Kehoe. “We are committed to creating better job opportunities that will lead to stronger economic growth.”
The bill now heads to the House for final consideration. For more on this measure and others, visit www.senate.mo.gov.