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Why Are Taxpayers Footing the Bill for Full-Time Police Union Employees?

July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020
By Timothy Sandefur

At, I take a look at how “release time” provisions in public sector union contracts require taxpayers to pay the salaries of employees who don’t work for the government at all, but work instead for unions. Their duties include lobbying the government for more taxpayer dollars—and in opposition to efforts at police reform. Excerpt:

When Houston Police Officers’ Union chief Joe Gamaldi tells lawmakers not to change qualified immunity, he’s doing so on “MBA Union Business Leave” time—funded by tax dollars….  If a cop shoots an innocent citizen, he or she can’t be fired without a hearing—and at that hearing, the officer is entitled to representation funded by citizens. The same goes for other government employees, including teachers or principals who violate students’ rights. Victims of official wrongdoing surely take little comfort in the fact that they are paying to protect the jobs of the people who abused them. And I doubt it gratifies other cops or teachers when they get lumped in with the wrongdoers in the inevitable public backlash.

Read the rest…

Timothy Sandefur is the Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute.



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