AFTERMATH OF THE JANUS DECISION
Comments from RJL regarding this bill. “Higgins is wrong about this bill. It wouldn’t “strip workers of rights won under” Janus. It couldn’t because it would be unconstitutional under Janus if it did attempt that. However, the bill is nonetheless pernicious because it would federally impose monopoly public-sector bargaining on state and local government employees nationwide, even in states that prohibit public-sector bargaining.”
washingtonexaminer.com, June 28, 2018
The legislation would strengthen labor contracts that require workers, including non-union ones, to continue making payments.
So, if the employee ever signed anything, even unknowingly, that approved a deduction, the union can cite that to argue that the worker cannot exercise his rights under Janus.
The legislation is dubbed the “Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act.”
“This bill would force all 50 states to give monopoly bargaining powers to Big Labor, in a gross violation of the rights of public employees and the rights of those states’ policymakers. Monopoly bargaining has been a failure in the private sector, and a disaster in the public sector, for every state that has implemented it,” said Greg Mourad, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee. “Now the national Democrats want to force it on the rest of the states as well. It’s an obvious payback to the union bosses who spend $2 billion every election cycle to help them get elected.”
Washington Examiner Online, June 27, 2018
As a current high school student, I’ve had countless amazing teachers. Like other Americans, teachers’ political beliefs vary widely. However, in some states, teachers have been forced to pay dues to unions whose advocacy overwhelmingly skews to one side, even when it conflicts with their beliefs. This is a direct violation of teachers’ First Amendment rights, and they should have the right to refuse to pay fees to unions they do not wish to support.
On Wednesday, Supreme Court put an end to this terrible practice when it ruled on Janus v. AFSCME.
Former Chicago teacher Joseph Ocol was expelled from the Chicago Teachers Union because he went to a chess tournament with his students instead of attending a strike organized by the union. Ocol put his students’ needs before the union’s, and he paid the price.
delawarepublic.org, July 02, 2018
Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett considers the Supreme Court ruling a victory for worker choice. “If the union is providing a value, and somebody wants to pay a fee to receive that value, that should be optional.” Arlett, who is also running for U.S. Senate, introduced a right-to-work ordinance in Sussex County last fall.
Law360.com, July 05, 2018
A little more than a week after it persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to let public sector workers stop paying union dues, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday that could make it easier for some workers to oust their unions.
Right to Work alleges Unite Here and Embassy Suites pressured workers into signing authorization cards ahead of the hotel recognizing the union drive.
dailycaller.com, July 05, 2018
The Michigan grocery store workers filed a class action lawsuit against their union, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 876, in 2016 for refusing the workers’ request to end their membership. Michigan passed right-to-work laws in 2012 forbidding forced union dues, but the union claimed the workers did not file their request within the official “window period” or follow the certified mail requirement to opt out of the union.
Unions have a long history of using these so-called ‘window period’ rules to block workers from exercising their legal rights and continue to seize forced dues against their will,” NRTW president Mark Mix said in a statement. “Even in Right to Work states, Big Labor officials will concoct new methods to keep extracting dues from workers — and now the Supreme Court will have a chance to weigh in and potentially put an end to these abusive union practices.
Chicago Tribune Online, June 28, 2018
On one side, labor leaders want to organize and rally, using anger with the court loss and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to galvanize support and drive new membership. On the other, one union wants to fight back in court, seeking to go down legal roads it says were opened up as part of a “Pandora’s box” of consequences of Wednesday’s ruling.
The split illustrates the dilemma facing organized labor after the Supreme Court ruled that public workers don’t have to pay fees to a union they don’t want to join.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 union at the center of the Janus v. AFSCME case — and the largest public employee union in Illinois — has chosen to use the ruling as a rallying tool to try to attract more members. The strategy is rooted in the belief that unions get stronger as their ranks grow, as well as the political calculation that anger over Rauner’s efforts to weaken their power could drive voters to the polls in November.
The politically active International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, meanwhile, takes a different view. It represents several thousand municipal construction workers in Illinois, and it is asking a federal court to free it from state requirements that it serve workers who don’t pay membership dues.
Maher said the union wants a federal judge to rule that unions can’t be required to offer expensive services like arbitration and workplace dispute mediation to workers who’ve chosen to not join and pay dues. He said Justice Samuel Alito Jr. opened the door for such a change in his majority opinion, when he wrote that nonmembers seeking union help in workplace grievances “could be required to pay for that service or could be denied union representation altogether.”
Chicago Tribune, July 6, 2018
The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision last year in a case involving whether the home health care workers, paid with Medicaid dollars, should be able to recoup money the state took out of their paychecks for “fair share” union fees between 2008 and 2014. Those “fair share” fees covered the costs of collective bargaining even though those workers were not union members.
The (Service Employees International Union) and Blagojevich and Quinn administrations seized $32 million from 80,000 home health care providers against their will, just took their money,” said William Messenger, an attorney with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, who represents the three home health care workers who brought the original case in 2010.
Those three workers prevailed at the Supreme Court, but then returned to lower courts to try to expand the ruling to the other 80,000 workers. “We’re hoping this will eventually allow them to get that wrongfully seized money back,” he said.
thefederalist.com, July 06, 2018
I recently received an email from the local chapter of the National Education Association informing me that collective bargaining had ended and a salary schedule for the 2018-19 school year had been agreed upon. In other words, a union of which I am not a member has negotiated my new salary for the upcoming school year.
The union is not shy in expressing its displeasure with nonmembers like me; the aforementioned email even included the following: “If you are not yet a member, please take the time to fill out the attached membership application. It’s time that you join to support our efforts to improve our profession.”
I don’t think it occurred to me until hearing commentary on the recent Supreme Court case that without the union, I could actually negotiate my own salary with my employer.
washingtonexaminer. com, July 05, 2018
Rank-and-file members of the National Education Association rejected a bid by the union’s leadership to give a bigger role to nonunion liberal activists by creating a new membership category called “community ally.”
“Does my union card mean something or not? Bill Gates should not be able to buy one,” said Marshall Thompson, a Minnesota delegate, during the debate Tuesday, according to the Intercept.
newsok.com, July 06, 2018
Douglas Thompson, Oklahoma City
Thank you SCOTUS and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund. Perhaps there is still hope. We haven’t given all our powers of the people to socialism, yet.
cnybj.com, July 05, 2018
The Empire Center, a free-market think tank in Albany, has sent 1,700 letters to county, city, town, and village governments Tuesday telling them they need to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling and stop collecting union “agency fees” from some 200,000 government workers in New York who do not belong to unions.
The organization also sent a letter to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli telling him to comply with last week’s Supreme Court ruling in the case of Janus vs. AFSCME.
Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center, noted in the letter that the Supreme Court decided the case of Janus vs. AFSCME clearly. “The language of the decision is not ambiguous,” Hoefer said. “Agency fees must end.”
patriotledger.com, July 05, 2018
Attorney General Maura Healey issued guidance for public employees and unions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that nonunion public employees cannot be required to pay certain union fees.
Healey wrote that despite the court’s ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME last week, which is expected to harm the finances of unions around the country, “all other rights and obligations of public sector employees and employers under state law remain.” She said her office’s advisory is an “affirmation of those rights and to provide initial guidance on the issue of union dues and agency fees.”
The advisory clarifies that the ruling has no effect on agreements regarding union dues – only “fair share” agency fees – and does not change any laws that protect access to public employee’s personal information. A union must get affirmative consent from a nonmember if it is to deduct agency fees from that worker’s wages, according to Healey’s advisory.
DeLeo said it is the “overwhelming feeling of the House” that anything that limits the role of unions in Massachusetts could be detrimental to the economy. He said he would wait to see if the labor movement would coalesce behind one approach before taking action.