The fur is flying over a memo sent from an official with the Office of Administration to three state agencies. That memo ties state jobs to payment of union dues. The letter, sent by the Office of Administration’s Paul Buckley to the Department of Mental Health, Department of Corrections, and Missouri Veterans Commission advises those agencies to inform new employees hired after September 1st they must either join a union and pay dues or reject the union but have special fees deducted, anyway. He says no money will be deducted until a mechanism to do so is in place. Senate Leader Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau says a deduction is a deduction – no matter whether it’s called a union due or a special fee, and it’s wrong to take that money out of workers’ paychecks. Kinder says this is a clear case of Governor Holden paying off unions for their help in his efforts. Those sentiments are echoed by the state’s business community. Kelly Gillespie with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce says the Governor is using state workers as pawns, adding he is handing a share of every state worker’s paycheck to the unions. Jim Kistler with Associated Industries of Missouri says the Governor is sidestepping the constitution because state law prohibits any type of payroll deduction not authorized by an employee.
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