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As we noted back in 2013, when 8,000 government employees rallied at California’s capitol, Service Employees International Union boss Yvonne Walker proclaimed “We’re letting them know this is our house!” The SEIU and other massive government unions were clamoring for a pay hike at the time.
In 2015 we noted two costly bills that would ban the University of California from outsourcing jobs and restrict state agencies and the courts from contracting for services that could be performed by state employees. The Sacramento Bee called the measures a “sop” to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and a “valentine” to the SEIU, which always wants more, whatever the condition of state finances.
As Adam Ashton notes in the Sacramento Bee, Yvonne Walker is “not satisfied with the state’s offer of a contract that would raise salaries by 2.96 percent this year and by 12 percent over four years.” They want more, and are prepared to authorize a strike vote. The odds are that they will get what they want from Governor Jerry Brown (D-SEIU), who authorized collective bargaining for state employees back in the 1970s and shows no regrets.
“We’ve done our part,” one state employee proclaimed at the 2013 rally. That is, they have blocked common-sense reforms such as outsourcing and done the heavy lifting to elect big-government, tax-hiking politicians. Government employee unions back ballot measures to raise taxes and spending, such as Proposition 55, which would extend the 2012 Proposition 30 tax hikes that politicians pitched as temporary. They do all that, and more, yet the government union bosses themselves will not be on the ballot in November and never need to face the voters. That’s why California’s taxpayers can’t exactly say the capitol is “our house.”