In an era when so few things are certain, it must have been heartening to state labor unions when the New York Legislature and Gov. David Paterson granted them permanent access to state workers’ paychecks.
In July, Paterson signed into law a bill that requires all public employees in the state to pay dues whether they join their unions or not—in perpetuity.
Edmund McMahon, director of the Empire Center for New York State Policy at the Manhattan Institute, called it a “very significant present” to labor unions, The New York Times reported.
Errol Cockfield, spokesman for the governor, countered that the requirement for state employees to pay union dues was already about as perpetual as it gets. He noted that a temporary measure mandating dues payment was first enacted in 1977, and has been renewed every two years ever since.
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