What's the Matter With Kansas?
Several Kansas State Departments have been caught soliciting information on behalf of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Using taxpayers’ dollars, the Kansas Department on Aging and the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services collected names, addresses, and telephone numbers of healthcare workers on behalf SEIU- presumably so SEIU could contact and organize these workers. Although SEIU rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars annually in union dues, they still appealed to Kansas state departments for help gathering information about Kansans.
But it’s hard to fault SEIU, who hasn’t showed up to Congress or a State House hat-in-hand looking for some cash, a tariff, or favorable regulations? Just pass the buck to taxpayers, its en vogue. Although SEIU is a political behemoth, Kansas should know better. It’s exactly this sort of logrolling that digs state government huge fiscal holes; Kansas will face a $1 billion deficit by the end of next year.
To highlight this problem, the Alliance for Worker Freedom sent letters to Kansas’ Governor and appropriate members of the Department on Aging and the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services requesting the release of email records and financial documents surrounding the collection of healthcare workers' private information on behalf of the SEIU.
Not to be overlooked is just whose names SEIU was collecting, healthcare workers. Labor’s attempts to unionize healthcare workers have been unsuccessful in the United States. With healthcare costs already skyrocketing, few hospitals could remain open if they accepted bloated union contracts. So, why the push for healthcare workers information now? Because of the Democratic bills making their way through Congress. Government healthcare facilitates unionization; SEIU’s mouth is watering at this prospect. Look at Canada: 78 percent of Canadian nurses are unionized compared with 17 percent of American nurses. More generally, in the United States, 36.8 percent of public sector workers are unionized compared to 7.6 percent of private workers.
The Alliance for Worker Freedom will continue to follow this story and post all responses from Kansas state departments and the Governors office on its website, www.workerfreedom.org.