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Thread: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

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    Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Recent story on which this topic is based, from my former home state: Gov. Dunleavy thrusts Alaska into a leading national role as he takes on union procedures

    Up until last year, public sector unions in non-Right-To-Work states pretty much forced new employees in union-represented jobs to sign withholding authorizations. These "dues authorizations" basically said "Whatever I am required to pay the union in order to be able to keep my job, I agree to have it withheld and sent to the union." If they didn't agree to this, they would have to independently send money separately to the union, or else the union would order the employer to fire the employee. That's what "union security agreements" are (or were).

    Then in June of 2017, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional for public sector employers and unions to do this. Specifically, it said:

    For these reasons, States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees. Under Illinois law, if a public-sector collective bargaining agreement includes an agency-fee provision and the union certifies to the employer the amount of the fee, that amount is automatically deducted from the nonmember’s wages. ß315/6(e). No form of employee consent is required.

    This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue. Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay. By agreeing to pay, nonmembers are waiving their First Amendment rights, and such a waiver cannot be presumed. Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U. S. 458, 464 (1938); see also Knox, 567 U. S., at 312–313. Rather, to be effective, the waiver must be freely given and shown by “clear and compelling” evidence. Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U. S. 130, 145 (1967) (plurality opinion); see also College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Ed. Expense Bd., 527 U. S. 666, 680–682 (1999). Unless employees clearly and affirmatively consent before any money is taken from them, this standard cannot be met.
    What Dunleavy and many other employers are starting to realize, is that the authorizations unions have strong-armed public employees into signing by threatening their firing if they don't (which prior to 2018 was legal), these consents really aren't valid anymore, because employees need to clearly, affirmatively and freely give consent to have money withheld from them to be sent to the union.

    Since the agency fee era (pre-2018) allowed employees to be strong-armed into signing these authorizations, Dunleavy and others say they need to get another chance to decide if they want their money withheld. So Dunleavy is requiring new consents that give employees a free and clear choice, and the unions are ready to fight to the death over it, because they don't want union-represented employees to have another shot at making a clear and free choice.

    Now that the law of the land has changed as it concerns withholding money from public employees, shouldn't public employees have to clearly opt in to having their money withheld and sent to unions? Shouldn't new consents have to be signed to express this free choice they didn't used to have?

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    Re: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Unfortunately, until this crap is reinforced by the federal courts pursuant to Janus, it will be up to each individual public employee to vociferously and adamantly opt out in order to get the employer and union to stop withholding their money.

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    Re: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Unfortunately, until this crap is reinforced by the federal courts pursuant to Janus, it will be up to each individual public employee to vociferously and adamantly opt out in order to get the employer and union to stop withholding their money.
    First let me say, I was part of a management team that worked and bargained with Unions and never in a union. One thing people who write as you do never mention is that by law unions have to cover all of those people in positions in the bargaining unit whether they belong to the union and whether they pay dues or not. So why pay dues when you can get all the benefits for free. So like most Americans why pay dues when you want something for nothing. In reality without dues, unions can not exist and that is what private businesses have learned and why they have pushed right-to-work laws. And what has happened in the past thirty years since states began passing such laws and unions have died, real wages have either remained stagnant or dropped for working people. So keep telling people they should not pay dues and you help the growing disparity between the wealthy and the rest of us. Just so you know the wealthy 10% in the late 1980's owned 80 percent of the countries wealth and today almost 90%.

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    Re: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Now that the law of the land has changed as it concerns withholding money from public employees, shouldn't public employees have to clearly opt in to having their money withheld and sent to unions? Shouldn't new consents have to be signed to express this free choice they didn't used to have?
    No, because even as ****ty as Republicans are they know better than to **** with the Fraternal Order of Police. In these stupid right wing states that have targeted Unions they always conveniently leave Public Sector Unions in place because they know they can't afford to piss off the Police or Firefighters.

    So the real question is why would destroying every other type of Union be a good idea but leaving the Police Union in tact be a good idea? Answer: It's not. This stupid law is bad for workers everywhere. Republicans just don't have the balls to go after the police. They need them for protection against all the other poor people they've ****ed over.
    Obstruction of Justice also applies to overt coercion of court or government officials via the means of threats or actual physical harm and also applying to deliberate sedition against a court official to undermine the appearance of legitimate authority.

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    Re: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by independentusa View Post
    First let me say, I was part of a management team that worked and bargained with Unions and never in a union. One thing people who write as you do never mention is that by law unions have to cover all of those people in positions in the bargaining unit whether they belong to the union and whether they pay dues or not. So why pay dues when you can get all the benefits for free. So like most Americans why pay dues when you want something for nothing. In reality without dues, unions can not exist and that is what private businesses have learned and why they have pushed right-to-work laws. And what has happened in the past thirty years since states began passing such laws and unions have died, real wages have either remained stagnant or dropped for working people. So keep telling people they should not pay dues and you help the growing disparity between the wealthy and the rest of us. Just so you know the wealthy 10% in the late 1980's owned 80 percent of the countries wealth and today almost 90%.
    Exactly. Making Union dues optional would work about as well as making Income Taxes optional. Remember we're the UNITED states people. WE ARE A UNION. The U.S. Military can't protect the country without protecting every person living in it. The government can't build roads with free access without that benefiting the whole country. As a result, it would be nonsensically stupid to let tax payers opt out of the income taxes necessary to pay for these things.

    Same thing for Unions. When a Union negotiates for better working conditions they do so on behalf of every employee whether they like the Union or not. As a result it is nonsensically stupid to allow individual employees to opt out of the Union and still get all the benefits.
    Obstruction of Justice also applies to overt coercion of court or government officials via the means of threats or actual physical harm and also applying to deliberate sedition against a court official to undermine the appearance of legitimate authority.

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    Re: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrWonka View Post
    No, because even as ****ty as Republicans are they know better than to **** with the Fraternal Order of Police. In these stupid right wing states that have targeted Unions they always conveniently leave Public Sector Unions in place because they know they can't afford to piss off the Police or Firefighters.

    So the real question is why would destroying every other type of Union be a good idea but leaving the Police Union in tact be a good idea? Answer: It's not. This stupid law is bad for workers everywhere. Republicans just don't have the balls to go after the police. They need them for protection against all the other poor people they've ****ed over.
    Youíre way out in left field. Itís not even clear you know what this topic is about. You didnít actually respond to my post.

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    Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrWonka View Post
    Exactly. Making Union dues optional would work about as well as making Income Taxes optional.
    Public sector union dues already are optional. No public sector employee is required to pay a union any amount of money as a condition of remaining in their job. Itís law of the land.

    Same thing for Unions. When a Union negotiates for better working conditions they do so on behalf of every employee whether they like the Union or not.
    They donít negotiate on behalf of every employee, they negotiate on behalf of every employee in the bargaining unit they have established, assuming the union has also chosen to certify itself as the exclusive representative over that entire bargaining unit. If they wanted to only have to negotiate for members, they could certainly do that and go that route instead.

    As a result it is nonsensically stupid to allow individual employees to opt out of the Union and still get all the benefits.
    Then tell unions to stop being nonsensically stupid. Itís unionsí choice to subject themselves to Duty or Fair Representation or not. They arenít required by law to certify as exclusive representatives.

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    Re: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Recent story on which this topic is based, from my former home state: Gov. Dunleavy thrusts Alaska into a leading national role as he takes on union procedures

    Up until last year, public sector unions in non-Right-To-Work states pretty much forced new employees in union-represented jobs to sign withholding authorizations. These "dues authorizations" basically said "Whatever I am required to pay the union in order to be able to keep my job, I agree to have it withheld and sent to the union." If they didn't agree to this, they would have to independently send money separately to the union, or else the union would order the employer to fire the employee. That's what "union security agreements" are (or were).

    Then in June of 2017, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional for public sector employers and unions to do this. Specifically, it said:



    What Dunleavy and many other employers are starting to realize, is that the authorizations unions have strong-armed public employees into signing by threatening their firing if they don't (which prior to 2018 was legal), these consents really aren't valid anymore, because employees need to clearly, affirmatively and freely give consent to have money withheld from them to be sent to the union.

    Since the agency fee era (pre-2018) allowed employees to be strong-armed into signing these authorizations, Dunleavy and others say they need to get another chance to decide if they want their money withheld. So Dunleavy is requiring new consents that give employees a free and clear choice, and the unions are ready to fight to the death over it, because they don't want union-represented employees to have another shot at making a clear and free choice.

    Now that the law of the land has changed as it concerns withholding money from public employees, shouldn't public employees have to clearly opt in to having their money withheld and sent to unions? Shouldn't new consents have to be signed to express this free choice they didn't used to have?
    Thats fine, however, such an employee should go without benefit of any union negotiated benefits, including a different health plan, a different holiday schedule, different pay schedule, no protections, etc.

    They can deal directly with HR on their own for those things.
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    Re: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by independentusa View Post
    First let me say, I was part of a management team that worked and bargained with Unions and never in a union. One thing people who write as you do never mention is that by law unions have to cover all of those people in positions in the bargaining unit whether they belong to the union and whether they pay dues or not.
    That is not entirely true. This legal requirement is purely a function of unions' choice to certify as "exclusive representative."

    So why pay dues when you can get all the benefits for free. So like most Americans why pay dues when you want something for nothing.
    To the union, why voluntarily and intentionally provide benefits for free when you can legally be members-only instead?

    In reality without dues, unions can not exist and that is what private businesses have learned and why they have pushed right-to-work laws. And what has happened in the past thirty years since states began passing such laws and unions have died, real wages have either remained stagnant or dropped for working people. So keep telling people they should not pay dues and you help the growing disparity between the wealthy and the rest of us. Just so you know the wealthy 10% in the late 1980's owned 80 percent of the countries wealth and today almost 90%.
    Unions don't redistribute wealth, especially public sector unions, which is what this thread is about.

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomancer View Post
    Thats fine, however, such an employee should go without benefit of any union negotiated benefits, including a different health plan, a different holiday schedule, different pay schedule, no protections, etc.
    That could certainly be the case and is already entirely legal under current law. Any and every union has the ability to decertify as exclusive representative and thereby deprive any non-paying employee of its services, thereby only being obligated to provide services to its dues-paying members.

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    Re: Shouldn't public employees have to OPT IN to have their money sent to unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    That could certainly be the case and is already entirely legal under current law. Any and every union has the ability to decertify as exclusive representative and thereby deprive any non-paying employee of its services, thereby only being obligated to provide services to its dues-paying members.
    It should be automatic instead of having the union take action to not represent employees who decline to be a part of the union (through dues or other membership activities). The moment an employee signs a form to opt out, their pay and other benefits should reset at the next pay period (or whatever schedule the company deems appropriate).
    "This is America - and here, right matters."

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