U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Union Dues Case

Friday, September 29, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Union Dues Case

ALBANY — Unions including the New York State United Teachers and the AFL-CIO reacted angrily Thursday to news that the U.S. Supreme Court will revisit a case that could decide whether public sector labor groups can collect fees from workers they represent but who are not members.

The case, Janus v. AFSCME, challenges the federal agency fee provisions that allow public sector unions in 22 states, including New York, to mandate that represented individuals pay fees rather than dues if they don't want to join the applicable union.

A similar case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, was heard by the Supreme Court in January 2016, but resulted in a deadlocked decision following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Unions fear the high court, now joined by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, will overturn the provision, dealing a severe fiscal blow to their operations.

In Friedrichs, a Los Angeles public school teacher sought to end her payments to the teachers union there. In the case still to be heard by the court, Illinois state child protective worker Mark Janus is objecting to fees he’s obligated to pay to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents him...

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