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Seattle Times: Janus ruling empowers public employees

June 28, 2018 — Erin Shannon, director of the Center for Worker Rights, Washington Policy Center and David Boze, communications director, Washington Policy Center

Now 5.5 million employees in 22 states have their First Amendment freedom of association rights restored — including employees right here in Washington.

It’s easier to avoid a Goliath than it is to defy one. Child-support specialist Mark Janus chose the harder path.

As an employee of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Janus was forced to pay money to a government union whether he wanted to or not. He objected, and those objections led to legal action. At Washington Policy Center’s Solutions Summit events last month, Janus related how some of his colleagues refused to speak to him and how doors were rudely shut in his face. But he stood his ground.

He argued his union’s actions are inherently political. He said its political agenda undermines the needs of services for the vulnerable, and he disagreed with the union’s spending ideas given the fiscal crises in Illinois.

Budget priorities are commonly debated by Democrat and Republican candidates in every state. In other words, as Janus argued, they are subjects that are quintessentially political.

Read the full article at The Seattle Times