Legal Fight with Florida Unions Costs Taxpayers Nearly $500,000

Kyle Olson

8/28/2012 12:01:00 AM - Kyle Olson
Most people would be thankful if they only had to pay three percent of their salary toward retirement. That would be considered a gift in the private sector. But to Florida’s government employees, it’s a crime and an insult.

That’s why the unions have filed a lawsuit, forcing the Florida Department of Management Services to rack up a whopping $499,288 in legal fees (thus far) to defend a new law requiring government employees to pay a paltry three percent towards their state pensions.

Unsurprisingly, the unions won the first round in court. There is always a politically-friendly judge – perhaps even one on the union donor list – ready to lend a hand in a time of crisis. Now the state’s Supreme Court will decide the matter.

The unions, led by the Florida Education Association, successfully argued that making employees pay anything “violated the contract between the state and current employees.”

But the unions weren’t done. The FEA have also filed a lawsuit challenging new laws dictating how teachers are evaluated and compensated. That case has yet to be heard in court, but the state has already spent $3,354 on legal fees and the meter continues to run.

Not only do unions make public schools very expensive to operate, but they also make any type of pro-student reform very expensive to implement.

Perhaps heavily unionized governments should adopt the motto: “Damned if you reform, damned if you don’t.”