When the U.S. Supreme Court restored the constitutional rights of government employees in its recent Janus v. AFSCME decision, we were thrilled. For us, this was no mere academic exercise or legal nuance; the ruling was personal.
The good news: The U.S. Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking decision in favor of workers’ rights when it ruled that no government worker can be forced to pay a government union as a condition of working in public service. In the months since the ruling, government workers from every corner of the country are attempting to exercise their newly restored constitutional rights.
The bad news: Unsurprisingly, government unions and politicians are standing in their way.
Do unions believe in the rule of law? That’s an urgent question as unions and their political friends try to circumvent the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June blocking the forced collection of union fees.
Despite the landmark Supreme Court ruling this summer barring public-sector unions from requiring nonmembers to pay so-called agency fees, workers in several states say unions are either flat-out ignoring the decision or establishing a frustrating maze of procedural roadblocks to avoid compliance.
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that unions can no longer collect fees from non-members, unions and their advocates slammed the decision as an attack on working people. Many labor rights activists warned the decision could seriously diminish the power of unions.
An Illinois legal nonprofit has sent cease and desist letters to state and local officials threatening to sue the state of Oregon, the City of Portland and Portland Public Schools if they don't stop collecting union dues and agency fees from workers' paychecks.
PORTLAND, Ore. — A Chicago-based conservative group is threatening to sue Oregon government officials if they don’t stop collecting union dues and agency fees from workers’ paychecks, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Cease-and-desist letters are in the mail to four states without right-to-work laws demanding an immediate halt to the deduction of union fees from the paychecks of government workers.
As government workers begin exercising their rights to leave their unions, some are speaking out about the ways government unions are trying to lock them into paying fees or dues.
The Washington-based Freedom Foundation reported this disturbing incident: AFSCME 3299 refused to accept a union resignation letter submitted by a government worker. The union told the employee that her letter lacked “sufficient information” to verify that the worker did, in fact, wish to resign from her union. Instead, AFSCME 3299 instructed the employee to use the union’s own form – a form that would waive all membership rights but require the employee to pay “service fees” to the union indefinitely.
Jessica Lapp, a 41-year-old fifth-grade teacher in Lancaster, Pa., has seen a bump in her pay as Pennsylvania stopped collecting about $400 a year she paid to the Pennsylvania State Education Association.
Ms. Lapp, who describes herself as a conservative Republican, earns about $60,000 a year and says she opposed the politics of the union and its parent, the National Education Association, which has consistently backed Democratic candidates. She declined union membership but was required to pay an agency fee.
“I feel great,” said Ms. Lapp. “We’re always talking to our kids ab
During the final hours of the legislative session, the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill that would give unions power to provide benefits only to their members, in a response to a recent Supreme Court decision.
The bill would also allow union representatives to meet with each new employee and give unions access to the addresses and phone numbers of all employees.
The Pioneer Institute, a free market think tank, wrote a response to a similar, though not identical, proposal last week. It said the bill: "would gut Massachusetts labor relations law," which currently prohibits public employers from discriminating against those who are not union members in hiring, tenure, or any term or condition of employment. The Pioneer Institute warned that employees could be intimidated or coerced into joining a union under these provisions.
CONCORD — The first such study of its kind in New Hampshire concludes nearly 2,200 public employees could save more than $1 million in their paychecks each year as a result of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled it violates the First Amendment to make workers pay fees to cover the cost of a union’s collective bargaining.
The total fees deducted represented about 20 percent of the more than $4 million in annual dues paid by the 7,051 state workers who are members of the Service Employees International Union 1984, otherwise known as the State Employees Association.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court made it illegal for governments to require teachers, first responders and other public sector workers to pay a government union as a condition of holding their job. What does this mean for government workers?
In at least six states, government workers just got a raise! This means that government workers can spend more of their hard-earned money on their families, their interests and the causes they care about – at no expense to their fellow taxpayers.
Here’s what we’re seeing across the country:
ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - After the Supreme Court ruling in the Janus case regarding union fees, there has been some confusion on what has actually changed, prompting the state to release guidelines to help answer any questions.
The Empire Center for Public Policy released a report saying that some of the guidelines are wrong. For example, it says that unions do not have to provide membership cards to employers, which Ken Girardin says goes directly against state law.
"If the governor gave this kind of advice to a paying client, he'd likely face malpractice charges."
Teacher op-ed: As a teacher in Minnesota, I didn’t have a choice about whether or not to pay the union that was supposed to represent me, and when my union ultimately failed to stand by my side during a dispute with my district, I had no choice but to continue paying it.
Mark Janus was the plaintiff in Janus v. AFSCME.
My home state of Illinois is in financial free fall. The state has billions of dollars in unpaid bills, has unbalanced budgets and is bleeding people and money.
A state doesn’t get into a mess like this overnight. It’s the result of many seemingly small decisions over many years. It’s for that reason that I fought to not be part of that mess — all the way up to the Supreme Court.
Vindication for the First Amendment rights of public employees was a long time in coming, and states are still trying to rig their laws against workers who don’t want to join.
Listen as the Liberty Justice Center's Jacob Huebert was featured on NPR!
Teacher op-ed: In my home state of Alaska, teachers and other public employees are forced to pay fees to unions they didn’t choose to represent them, in order to hold the jobs they love.
Before moving to Alaska, I was a teacher in Idaho, a right-to-work state, where membership in a union is a choice. I chose not to belong.