Union power in Oklahoma

April 17, 2019

Trent England

On today's show, I mentioned that Oklahoma still gives special powers to unions. This is true in school districts, where state law mandates that districts "shall" recognize and negotiate with unions. It also forces all the teachers or other employees in a bargaining unit to be represented by the union and covered by the union contract. Neither the district or individual teachers have any choice—it's a state mandate.

At least it takes an election to set up a union. (Although why 51% of teachers have the right to bind the other 49% to a particular union and bargaining process is an open question.) But perhaps the worst part of current Oklahoma law is that once a union is set up, it is there forever, unless employees go through a cumbersome process (state law says you can only do it in February) to force another election. 

In this country, elected officials have to stand for periodic reelection. So why don't we require the same accountability from unions? Actually, Oklahoma voters think we should.