By Steve Gunn

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Does anyone believe public sector unions are interested in helping cash-strapped governments or overburdened taxpayers save a few dollars?

Check out this story from South Carolina, which comes courtesy of the Columbia Daily Herald.

Earlier this year, the state legislature voted to pay for the annual increase in the cost of health insurance for state employees. But in August the state Budget and Control Board voted to split the cost of the increase between the state and covered employees, at the urging of Gov. Nikki Haley.

That move, which would save the state $5.8 million, would cost the average state employee an extra $7.24 per month next year.

State employees and their unions were “outraged” by the move and immediately filed a lawsuit in the State Supreme Court. The court has temporarily blocked the increase in employee insurance contributions until the case is resolved.

“Hopefully it is a good sign that we’ll prevail in the lawsuit,” Roger Smith, executive director of the South Carolina Education Association, was quoted as saying.

The lawsuit itself is definitely a sign that the public sector unions of South Carolina have no interest in helping the state or its taxpayers get through tough times.

Public employees generally get very good health coverage, and don’t have to pay very much for it. Is an average increase of $7 per month really worth all of this fuss, when it could save the state more than $5 million?

Add this to the long list of evidence that public service unions are self-serving organizations that have no interest in the common good.

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