Originally posted at The Alliance for Worker Freedom.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recently signed budget repair bill could save government workers over $72 million, according to a release recently issued by his office. Despite the fact that government workers will contribute increased levels to their pension and healthcare plans (although the new amount is still small in comparison to other states, not to mention their private sector counterparts), “workers could make up much of the increased costs because their union dues would be optional.”

These dues are often staggering amounts. Here are some of the totals paid by state workers for the privilege of belonging to a public sector union:

  • AFSCME- 23,000 workers pay $420 per year
  • AFT Wisconsin- 17,000 workers pay $510 per year
  • Professional Patient Care branch of the SEIU- 15,000 members pay between $192 and $864 per year
  • Milwaukee Public School Teachers- 6,000 members pay $995 per year

The freedom to opt out of these ridiculous union dues grants Wisconsin’s workers greater control over how their hard earned dollars are spent, while simultaneously putting the state back on the path towards fiscal responsibility. It also ends the destructive cycle of the state taking workers’ money against their will to fund Big Labor political operations that use coercive tactics to elect those too afraid to confront a radical agenda head on. This cycle only further increases the cost of state government, making it like robbing Peter (the worker) to pay Paul (the union boss) to kick Peter while he is down and has already been mugged.  Thanks to Governor Walker’s budget repair bill, Wisconsin’s public sector workers have reclaimed control over $72 million of their own money.