I was reading about some American Federal of State, County and Municipal Employees getting retroactive raises back to July 1. How nice. By way of this letter, you're welcome.
I say this because Gov. Martin O'Malley and AFSCME thought it would be more fair if non-union members were forced to pay union dues. I don't belong to any union, yet because of the Fair Share Act, $13.80 is deducted from my paycheck as union dues. The reasoning is that non-union members benefit regardless of membership. There goes one constitutional right — being forced to gather.
For state employees below Grade 19, a percentage is deducted according to their salary which hasn't changed in five years. In that time we suffered three years of furloughs and service reduction days. Our benefits, like health insurance, are covered at 90 percent after the co-pay for every service. I recently had a procedure done, and I'm getting bills from providers of providers.
AFSCME employees already enjoy crazy health benefits — no co-pay at all, all services are covered 100 percent. When this Fair Share Act was implemented, I wrote several letters to the editor of every news source and placed a page on Facebook called "AFSCME: Legalized Mafia." Their benefits page has since been removed from their website. I didn't cause that, I'm just saying. AFSCME did come through with some very helpful information that we should go with our third health provider choice, which has 100 percent coverage with substantially lower premiums after the open enrollment period ended. It is my responsibility to research, but why am I paying them?
Is it fair that several co-workers belong to a different union and both fees are deducted each payday? So once again on behalf of all state employees, you're welcome.
Kathryn Tebby, Brooklyn Park