More labor reform still needed

Patrick Ishmael
Director of government accountability for Show-Me Institute, Kansas City, Mo.

To the Editor:

Last year, the Missouri legislature made great strides in the area of government labor reform. Many employees, including teachers, now have added power to decide whether a union should represent them to their employer. Taxpayers now also have greater access to the details of those relationships, thanks to transparency and accountability provisions. That’s appropriate; after all, it’s your money involved.

Unfortunately, first responders — like police officers and firefighters — were not included in the law and do not yet enjoy the protections of last year’s reform. That should change. All government workers deserve a real say in who, if anyone, represents them, and the public deserves greater clarity about the terms of those relationships.