Another corporate attack on the middle class
A number of high-profile initiatives will dominate the upcoming election cycle and the work faculty activists will need to do to prepare for the campaign ahead.
As expected the “Corporate Power Grab Initiative,” initiative has qualified and will be on the November ballot. Simply put, this initiative seeks to silence the voices of faculty and teachers as well as other unions.
“This initiative is allegedly aimed at stopping special interests, but what it really does is change the rules to benefit wealthy corporate interests at the expense of the middle class,” explained CCA Vice-President Lynette Nyaggah, noting that corporations already outspend unions on politics about 15 to 1.
“This initiative was written by big corporate interests to make it seem like it limits corporation and union financial contributions equally. The truth is that it allows corporations to continue to make financial contributions without restrictions, while tying our hands,” Nyaggah said.
In addition to prohibiting contributions collected by payroll deduction to ballot measures and independent expenditures supporting or opposing state and local school board candidates, the initiative prohibits any direct contributions by unions to state and local candidates. It also requires annual, written authorization for any other funds collected by union members that are used for legislative and political purposes.
Applies to all unions
This is the third time in recent years that such an initiative has made it to the ballot, but unlike the previous measure, Prop. 75, which targeted public employee unions, this initiative would apply to all public and private sector unions.
“As union members, we already have the ability to stop our dues from being used for political purposes. This measure could have some harmful consequences for all of us if it is passed,” Nyaggah said.
CTA and other labor unions have already formed a coalition and hired a team to direct its campaign.
“Defeating this initiative is a top priority and it will take all of us working together and reaching out into our local communities to make it happen,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “Passage of this initiative would severely restrict our ability to advocate for education funding, professional development and our secure retirement. It strikes to the heart of everything we do.”
What it really does is change the rules to benefit wealthy corporate interests at the expense of the middle class.