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WITF Public Radio: Seven Pa. workers want their union dues back

Filed on behalf of Pennsylvania state employees, the federal class-action lawsuit, Schaszberger v. AFSCME Council 13, demands a refund of the nonmember fees employees. These fees were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME in June 2018.

This article first appeared on WITF Public Radio on November 7, 2019.

(Harrisburg) — Seven people who work or have worked for Pennsylvania’s state government are suing in hopes of getting back union dues they paid.

The suit was filed by the same nonprofits who brought last year’s landmark Janus case, in which the US Supreme Court ruled public sector unions can’t take dues from non-members.

Until recently, lead plaintiff David Schaszberger was a statistical analyst in Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry.

Labor union AFSCME represents many of the workers there. Schaszberger was never a member, but as was the case in many unionized workplaces, he still had dues deducted from his checks.

“Over the course of my 11 years with the commonwealth, they took about $4,000 out of my pay,” he said at a press conference announcing the suit.

He said he never joined AFSCME because he saw it as a political group that didn’t align with his beliefs, and said he doesn’t think the union’s efforts benefited him.

Read the full article on WITF Public Radio.