If the Court rules against the fees, it would overturn a 40-year-old ruling known as Abood vs. Detroit in which the justices said it was OK to require all public employees in a given union, not just members, to pay for the cost of collective bargaining and handling grievances.
In its decision to hear Janus v. AFSCME, the U.S. Supreme Court is acceding to the policy goals of corporate CEOs, the wealthiest 1 percent and political extremists who have been funding these attacks on ordinary working people for decades, NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said today.
Public sector employees' union membership averages 17 percent in states that ban mandatory fees compared with 49 percent in states, such as OR, that allow mandatory fees, according to the research by the social scientists who wrote in support of the California Teachers Association.
The plaintiffs objected to paying the fees, arguing that collective bargaining is "quintessentially political", and that the unions express views that not all employees agree with.
A similar case was heard previous year, but the Supreme Court at the time was shorthanded, operating with a vacant ninth seat and thus evenly divided between progressive and moderate justices.
The Seventh Circuit dismissed Trygg from the case on the basis of claim preclusion because he had already challenged the "fair share" requirement before the Illinois Labor Relations Board and a state appeals court.More news: Putin critic Navalny detained by police before pre-election rally
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The court's decision is due by June. In many states, when a majority of employees at a private company vote to unionize, all employees at that company are legally required to pay union dues.
The case, being brought on behalf of IL child support specialist Mark Janus, could affect unions in 22 states where those "fair share" fees are now mandated for all public employees; labor experts think many would stop paying if they weren't forced to. The arrangement was supposed to prevent non-members from "free riding", since the union has a legal duty to represent all workers.
The U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision to take up a case Thursday which aims at ending mandatory union dues for all public-sector workers. The fees help pay for those efforts. As such, non-members receive the same higher wages (one study found that workers in unionized shops enjoy a wage premium of almost 12 percent) and benefits enjoyed by their coworkers who belong to the union. A person with legal standing has a right to bring a lawsuit because they were harmed by a law or action.
Claire Prestel, associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said those cases could lead to a "one-two punch against workers".
Gov. Bruce Rauner told the newspaper workers "should not be forced to give up a portion of their pay each month to fund public-sector union activity".
On November 8, the Court will consider the issue of purging voter registration lists In Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Justices will look at an apparent conflict between federal voting statutes and state-based programs to maintain voter registration lists.
Whether public unions truly represent the politics of their workers is also an open question.