TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas Organization of State Employees (KOSE) is a union for executive branch state employees, and the largest union of state employees in Kansas. KOSE Executive Director Jane Carter recently issued the following prepared statement:
"The recent vote in the House should have never happened; HB 2130, the 'Paycheck Deception Bill' is nothing more than discrimination against union members and their political institutions. This bill restricts the use of funds collected, in part, through the state government's payroll system as a result of paycheck deductions affirmatively authorized by a state employee for a non-partisan political action committee. This bill does nothing for average union members but tell them how and what they can use their paychecks for...
"For public employee organizations - that is, for KOSE- HB 2130 includes a variation on the anti-union ruse misleadingly called "paycheck protection" by its proponents. Proponents of this ruse speak with high-minded fervor of the need to protect the rights of individual union members and other workers to be free of the compulsion to pay for speech with which they disagree. But, paycheck protection is disfavored by union members. Only business groups like the Chamber of Commerce are in support and for them it is retaliation against working families and their unions for opposing corporate and anti-worker agendas.
"This morning, Rep. Loganbill (D-Wichita) asked a rhetorical question of the proponents of this bill as to whether they thought union members were too stupid to know how to spend their own paychecks. A good question considering that these so-called "small government" legislators have no problem with government meddling in the rights of workers and telling union members how to spend their hard earned paychecks.
"Rep. Mike Slattery (D-Mission) took to the floor and made a bold case against HB 2130 calling the bill a "union tax" because it forces workers to send in paper checks through the mail if they choose to support their union's non-partisan political action committee, instead of simply having an agreed upon amount deducted from their paychecks at no cost to the worker or employer which is what we have in place now.
"Union members overwhelmingly support labor's political advocacy. They recognize that labor's political and legislative advocacy is strongly correlated with the economic interests of working families, and that the removal of labor unions from the political playing field would leave the field to be dominated by the same corporate groups that have forced a race to the bottom for workers - outsourcing jobs, slashing wages and eliminating benefits and retirement security. This is precisely why backers of HB 2130 and similar measures have singled out unions and do not even purport to apply such restrictions to corporations and other membership organizations, and it is precisely why we oppose it."