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“The Centers for Politics and Unions”

The following is an excerpt from our Saturday email, which includes our musings on the latest developments impacting public employees, links to that week’s labor news, and a collection of whimsical reads for your weekend. If you’d like to receive our weekly email, you can use the sign-up form at the bottom of this page. We promise to respect your inbox, and we will never share your email address.

In early February, the new director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, walked back an official statement that gave schools the green light to safely open. That original statement was presumably based on science.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), had something else to say on the matter.

If you ever doubted the power and political influence of teachers unions, take a look at the emails published this week in the New York Post.

The Post’s headline read, “Powerful teacher union influenced CDC on school reopenings, emails show.”

You read that right. A federal agency that says it prizes scientific integrity and prides itself on “accountability, respect, and integrity” is taking orders from a teachers union.

The email excerpts shared in the article are sobering.

The lobbying paid off. In at least two instances, language “suggestions” offered by the union were adopted nearly verbatim into the final text of the CDC document.

The AFT and its affiliates have long been one of the most reliable and deep pocketed donor constituencies of the Democratic party, dropping almost $20 million to elect party members during the 2020 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The CDC didn’t just take the union’s edits and suggestions into consideration. No, this group of scientists revised their directives for the nation to include the union’s suggestions nearly verbatim.

As the Wall Street Journal so aptly said, perhaps the CDC should rename itself “The Centers for Politics and Unions.”

This recent debacle underscores why every American should be concerned about the oversized influence and power of government unions. The problem of government unions is not just felt by public employees in a handful of deep blue states. No. The problem of government unions directly impacts every person in America.

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Elisabeth Messenger

Elisabeth Messenger is CEO of Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector workers offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2020, Elisabeth was in the publicity department at Atlantic Records in Los Angeles, CA. From there, she learned how to build organizations that would impact culture through positions in operations and business development at Universal Music Group, VEVO, and Beats Music.