The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME delivered a blow to union funds.
That has given new hope to workers who were forced to subsidize political speech they disagreed with. Unions may have had to retreat, but in states they tend to dominate, the empire is looking to strike back.
The decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, declared it unconstitutional for unions to force nonmembers to pay dues.
On cue, a New York lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation that would use taxpayer money as a replacement for the “agency fees” that were forbidden by the Supreme Court.
Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) has proposed allowing public employers to agree to “direct reimbursement” of the union for “the costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and related costs.”
An article from the Empire Center says that “it’s unlikely that any worker would experience a pay cut under the scheme described by Gottfried, given the realities of union negotiations under state law. Instead, a percentage of future raises would be designated as collective bargaining expenses and permanently embedded in base salaries on a recurring, permanent basis.”
According to Empire’s Ken Giradin, “about 1,700 local governments, school districts and public authorities will need to update their payroll systems to end agency fee deductions, which total about $112 million a year in New York.”
It is efforts like this one in New York that make it vital workers are educated on their rights, and empowered to exercise them.