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Court: Public union can't make nonmembers pay fees

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posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 07:56 PM
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The Supreme Court made a ruling today about specific unions not being able to collect dues from non-members.

This was about home healthcare workers in Illinois who were forced to pay fees.

Now they don't have to anymore.

Not sure, but this might be something like paying fees that really aren't "dues" as members.

Perhaps these workers were not in a "closed shop" bargaining unit and the unions wanted extra money?

The story says Illinois passed a law that said these specific workers were somehow "state employees".

The fix might have been in.



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union's costs of collective bargaining.

In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of nonmembers who disagree with the positions that unions take.

The ruling is a setback for labor unions that have bolstered their ranks and their bank accounts in Illinois and other states by signing up hundreds of thousands of in-home care workers. It could lead to an exodus of members who will have little incentive to pay dues if nonmembers don't have to share the burden of union costs.



Court: Public union can't make nonmembers pay fees




posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 08:08 PM
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a reply to: xuenchen

They are state employees. Sort of. They're home healthcare workers who get paid by the state but work for individuals who are typically elderly, ill or have some other condition that requires someone to assist them at home.

The issue was that they received the same benefits that unionized state employees received (time off, health benefits, etc.) and were charged a fee without paying normal union dues. They'd pay those fees because the collective bargain included them because they were paid by the state.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 08:39 PM
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a reply to: links234

Good explanation.

Something like in some right-to-work states that charge non-members a "fee for services".

Like a grievance handling fee for example for non dues paying members.

In Nevada, the public unions can do that, but the private company unions can't.

Nevada has no "closed" shops where all workers join.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 09:03 PM
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As a union member (not a state employee) I am both concerned and elated by this.
On one hand I see the unions being forced to be more responsible for their members, due to the fact that people will not longer be forced to pay into them even if they disagree with the union (to which I say that they shouldn't get any of the benefits of the union).
And on the other hand I see the decline of the unions, where as the growing mentality of the newer generations entering the workforce is that they do not see why they should join the union as they do not see the benefits. Which will leave the workers open the whims of the employer without a unified group to support them.
This will be a slippery slope for the future of the unions.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 09:29 PM
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originally posted by: xuenchen
a reply to: links234
In Nevada, the public unions can do that, but the private company unions can't.


Well it would seem, with this ruling, they can't do that anymore.

To echo Ark005's comment; this litigation was brought forth and paid for by the National Right to Work Committee Legal Defense Foundation. The primary intention seems to be to take money away from unions so they have less political spending power. If they have to cover the fees they'd normally charge they have less money to spend on political ventures. Most of which are typically voted on by union members anyway.

It's a pretty big turnaround from the 1977 case, ABOOD v. DETROIT BOARD OF EDUCATION, which protected unions from freeloaders by allowing them to collect the fees. Now, 37 years later, the SCOTUS has decided that it's not ok for public unions to do this.

As to whether or not non-union members should get union benefits, I believe that's not only law but it's standard protocol for all collective bargaining contracts. I could be wrong on the law part though.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 09:58 PM
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a reply to: xuenchen

I don't believe this ruling changes anything for full-time state employees. The court decision was specific to this case; these home healthcare workers being part-time state workers. It will probably have more of an effect on states with programs structured the same as in this case.



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 10:13 PM
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a reply to: iamgh057

That's about the way I'm reading this too. The court seems to have specifically avoided where it would impact Public Unions. This was about home health aids ..and home being a very literal thing as I understand it.

In theory, I could apparently file with my state for compensation for the care I give my own wife because of the documented and established chronic medical conditions involved. They'd require training I believe, but one part of the article mentioned a family situation specifically as core to this case.

It seems outrageous to me that people in their own home, drawing partial pay for taking off work or forgoing a career to replace what medicaid would otherwise pay quite a bit more for in a professional setting, would then be told some of what they are getting comes off the top to a Union.

Apparently the Supremes agreed.


SM2

posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 10:21 PM
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a reply to: links234

I am all for this ruling. No private group should have the right to force me to pay them dues to be a part of their little clubhouse if i do not want to . I worked at a place with a union once, in a right to work state, they could not force me to join, but boy did they do every thing they could to get everyone fired that wasnt a member.

I say if I do not want to be part of your little club, I should not get any of the so called benefits of the club, and you should not get my money. You should also be barred under law from actively trying to get me fired from my job.



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