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More Questions Than Answers

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.

This week marks the anniversary of a tragic chapter for a little girl named Gianna Floyd. One year ago, her father, George, died. Because her father’s death was so shocking and so public, her grief is shared today by millions.

In the wake of Gianna’s loss, a nation asks, how could this have happened? That question seems to be met with more questions than answers.

Are police unions too powerful? Or does the problem stem from the system, namely the unions’ ability to amass power through collective bargaining and then exploit a lopsided arbitration system that often aligns with labor?

Should police officers lose their ability to form a union? If so, how can pundits and politicians deny police the right to unionize and in the same breath call for sectoral bargaining and an increase in public sector unionism in states like Virginia?

Isn’t it the job of a union to represent all of its members, including the “bad apples”? I might add, this question is not just related to cops. Teachers often share with us their frustration of unions protecting terrible teachers. Children and Family Services workers struggle with how to weed out social workers who repeatedly fail to protect children.

How can we protect the constitutional rights of all Americans – including all public employees – with the transparency needed to ensure good workers are rewarded and “faithless servants” are held accountable?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you had an experience that has given you an insight into how to address questions like these?

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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.