Fort Wayne City Council members seem to look at union issues the way county fairgoers approach a sharpshooting booth. Except that instead of plastic ducks, the council's GOP majority is shooting down the laws that enable public labor unions to exist.
First was the sudden push for an ordinance banning collective bargaining for all non-safety city employees. With little fanfare, that measure was debated and passed into law last month.
Then on July 8, a bill was introduced that must have felt like a virtual sneak attack to the police union. The firefighters, in negotiations, indicated they weren't interested in retaining compulsory union dues in their new contract. After research that apparently consisted of recalling the cliche, “what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” the council's Republicans rushed through a measure to make police union dues voluntary too.
Predictably, Mayor Tom Henry vetoed that measure. And tonight it is up for a council override.
GOP councilmen should consider at least a nod to an important political value: inclusion.
On the opposite page, President Sofia Rosales writes that her Patrolmen's Benevolent Association had no advance notice of the latest measure, nor was it invited to participate in the discussion.
We could listen to the council all day long and not be convinced that this union-busting is a good idea for Fort Wayne, so maybe listening to the PBA won't change a council member's mind.
But there still would be virtue in pausing. Let the police have their say.