Home>Articles>New Ballot Measure Proposed to Prohibit Public Employee Unions
California State Capitol dome shines against blue sky
California State Capitol. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

New Ballot Measure Proposed to Prohibit Public Employee Unions

Public employment costs have ‘exploded,’ including pensions and lifetime health benefits

By Chris Micheli, August 13, 2021 2:44 am

On August 9, a proposed initiative was submitted to the Attorney General for title and summary concerning public employee unions. It is 21-0008 and titled “Public Employee Labor Organizations.” Its listed proponent is Timothy Draper. Comments about the proposed ballot measure may be submitted to the Attorney General’s Office through September 8.

The provisions of this proposed initiative measure include:

Section 1. Statement of Findings and Declaration of Purpose – This section includes three major findings: First, most public employees are protected in their jobs under the state’s civil service law. Second, after collective bargaining was authorized, public employment costs have “exploded,” including pensions and lifetime health benefits. As a result, the intent of this measure is “to put an end to this abuse and financial catastrophe.”

Section 2. Constitutional Amendment – This section would add Article VII, Section 1.5 to the California Constitution to provide that no public employee shall have the right to form, join or participate in public employee labor organizations. Public employee would include all state and local employees including school districts, counties, cities, and others. This section would define the terms “public employee” and “public employee labor organization.” In addition, the Legislature or a local legislative body could provide up to 12 months of severance to any employee who desires to terminate their employment within 90 days of the enactment of this new constitutional section.

Section 3. General Provisions – This section would provide that any invalid provision does not affect the remaining provisions of this ballot measure. It is also not intended to interfere with or extinguish any MOU or collective bargaining agreement public a public employee organization and an employer that exists at the time this measure is enacted. However, no new or amended MOUs or CBAs would be valid or enforceable.

Once a title and summary are provided for this measure, then its proponent can pursue the collection of signatures to try and get on the November 2022 ballot.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Spread the news:

 RELATED ARTICLES

15 thoughts on “New Ballot Measure Proposed to Prohibit Public Employee Unions

  1. Sounds great but I doubt it would pass legal challenges. Perhaps a prohibition on unions contributing to ballot measures would work, but it just seems this would be successfully challenged.
    I think a ballot measure limiting at what age pensions could be received, no pension until 60 or 65, and percent of wages that each year of work results in. Some talk about first responders needing to retire younger, but farmers and fisherpersons, who usually have to self fund their retirement, have higher fatality rates than law enforcement. and no basing on one high year of wages. Make it at least 5 years.

  2. Who drafted this garbage? It is facially unconstitutional, and anyone that has been through a Con Law 1 class knows it. Gov, including laws passed by propositions, cannot infringe on constitutionally protected rights.
    The “freedom of association” including forming unions, is not listed in the First Amendment but recognized by the SCOTUS as a “fundamental right”.
    Section 2. Constitutional Amendment – This section would add Article VII, Section 1.5 to the California Constitution to provide that no public employee shall have the right to form, join or participate in public employee labor organizations. Public employee would include all state and local employees including school districts, counties, cities, and others.

    1. Public collective bargaining was made legal for Federal employees a few decades ago, but not in response to a Constitutional challenge. I would love to see this passed, challenged, then have SCOTUS rule.

      1. “The FSLMRS does not permit the negotiation of matters that are specifically provided for by federal law, such as wages and retirement benefits. However, federal unions have bargained with management over a variety of other subjects, such as the availability of daycare facilities and the allocation of parking spaces.”

        Federal unions cannot bargain for wages or benefits, yet, according to most studies, they have higher compensation than equivalent state, local, or private sector employees.

        Good parking spaces, too.

  3. What this guy should have done was drafted a Proposition that is legit, such as a law that bans Gov from accepting money from any party-public or private (a content neutral law)- that does business with, or on behalf of, Gov. Bada Bing, problem solved, legally. And as a HUGE added benefit, in addition to public unions being enjoined from stuffing cash into the back pockets of the legislators, Big Business would be too. That can only help the average working middle class CA resident.

    1. As written, your proposal would mean that anyone on the government payroll, and any entity doing business with the the government would be exempt from taxation.
      A better proposal would be to say that candidates may receive funding, whether in cash or in kind, only from registered voters in the constituency they are contesting. That shuts out the corporate interest, the unions, the Super PACs, and even the out-of-state party organizations.

  4. I would love to see this get voted on. I came out of the K-12 education field and with the “Me too” clause for negotiating, there is no incentive to control salary costs. The Administration gets the same per cent raise as the certified/ classified staff, and on top of this there are automatic yearly raises for the first 5 – 7 years of service. Let’s go to merit pay, and make people perform to get raises. The unions only collect dues to line the pockets of the politicians , they are not there to support their members.

    1. “…there is no incentive to control salary costs. The Administration gets the same per cent raise as the certified/ classified staff, and on top of this there are automatic yearly raises for the first 5 – 7 years of service.”

      Fake news. Ultimately, the budget must be approved by the legislature, and when revenues are down, which is often, COLA type raises are scarce. When/if economic conditions improve, the state –tries– to catch up and all hell breaks loose. It is not uncommon for public workers to go three or more years with no COLA*, then try to catch up. In the first years of California Collective ‘begging’ the legislature approved a general 12 percent raise after several years of no increases (and double digit inflation). Famously vetoed by Brown and even more famously overridden by the legislature.

      In the last two decades, public workers in California and elsewhere have seen sporadic pay freezes and/or reductions, as well as significant pension cuts. Depending on who you listen to, wages for public workers have not kept pace with the private sector.

      *”automatic yearly raises” do exist, sort of. In my position (Caltrans maintenance), there was a 5 percent raise on completion of successful probationary period (6 months) and two more annual 5 percent increases on satisfactory performance. That’s it.
      Teachers are different. Many have a step a “step and lane” system that can go much longer, but they start out very low. About a third of them drop out in the first five years.

      https://www.illinoispolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Screen-shot-2012-11-27-at-8.19.02-PM.png

      1. You Babbling Birdbrain, if Gov employees EVER skip a COLA it is TEMPORARY, they get it made up in FUTURE COLA’s, they never lose ANY pay or benefits-ever. How many times must I spank you in public Money Boi
        🐒🍌🐒
        Fake news. Ultimately, the budget must be approved by the legislature, and when revenues are down, which is often, COLA type raises are scarce. When/if economic conditions improve, the state –tries– to catch up and all hell breaks loose. It is not uncommon for public workers to go three or more years with no COLA*,

        1. Would that it were. There is historical data showing the changing relationship of public and private wages…

          https://www.nirsonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/figure_1-1-300×206.jpg

          From ‘Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation over 20 Years’

          Generally, public sector wages and employment (unemployment) are counter cyclical. They are slower to fall than private wages during a recession, and slower to rise in recovery. They respond to different stimuli.

          More recently,

          “Salary growth in state and local government and public education has lagged that of the private sector. Over twenty years, average private sector wages rose by 15 percent above inflation while state and local government pay rose by 8 percent and public education by 5 percent. Average federal salaries, however, increased by 23 percent above inflation from 1998 to 2017.”
          Andrew Biggs, American Enterprise Institute.

  5. This will be great. My favorite professor complained that she had to pay union dues and even then she has no say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *