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Supreme Court Seems Poised to Deal Unions a Major Setback

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Would be a big change:

    The Supreme Court seemed poised on Monday to deliver a severe blow to organized labor.

    In a closely watched case brought by 10 California teachers, the court’s conservative majority seemed ready to say that forcing public workers to support unions they have declined to join violates the First Amendment.

    A ruling in the teachers’ favor would affect millions of government workers and culminate a political and legal campaign by a group of prominent conservative foundations aimed at weakening public-sector unions. Those unions stand to lose fees from both workers who object to the positions the unions take and those who simply choose not to join while benefiting from the unions’ efforts on their behalf.

    Under California law, public employees who choose not to join unions must pay a “fair share service fee,” also known as an “agency fee,” typically equivalent to members’ dues. The fees, the law says, are meant to pay for collective bargaining activities, including “the cost of lobbying activities.” More than 20 states have similar laws.

    Government workers who are not members of unions have long been able to obtain refunds for the political activities of unions like campaign spending. Monday’s case asks whether such workers must continue to pay for any of the unions’ activities, including negotiating for better wages and benefits. A majority of the justices seemed inclined to say no.

  2. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I can eventually see the unions challenging the law requiring them to represent everyone regardless of them paying. They'll argue that requiring them to represent someone who,isn't a member violates their own free speech rights.
  3. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    That'll make all 50 states right-to-work, of course, and that's a mighty big stroke for SCOTUS to make on a 5-4 vote, something Roberts loathes. He'll find a way to split the baby again.
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    So, if the union doesn't "represent" someone, wouldn't that leave the individual not represented free to negotiate their own salary/benefits with the employer? And, couldn't an exemplary employee negotiate a salary greater than the union negotiated rate?
  5. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    Theoretically, the exemplary could negotiate better salaries. In the real world, not everyone is above average and I think even the plaintiffs in this case would suffer a bit of a blow to their egos.

    It would also be a nightmare from an administration standpoint, since school boards have final say regarding salaries. Most raises are put in the consent agenda (bunch of routine items combined into one vote), but items can be pulled out. I could imagine the headaches this would cause in small school districts where some meetings last 4-5 hours because everyone on the board has something to say about everything.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yes, of course. In the real world without union interference, exemplary employees always rake in the dough, while the mediocre workers and the ass-kissers get the shaft.
  7. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    I'm amazed I'm even able to put food on the table, seeing as how I've never once been represented by a union.
    SpeedTchr likes this.
  8. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Public-sector unions are different beasts entirely. Even Baron's sainted FDR didn't like them. There's no profit motive on the other side of the table, no "final number" that makes sense for management.
    SpeedTchr likes this.
  9. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Well there are numbers that make sense, but in the case of government, the negotiators usually have none.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  10. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Indeed. I'm amazed at the number of people who think it's just fine and dandy for government to require political advocacy of a certain stripe as a condition of employment.
  11. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

  12. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Possibly, although if it's every person for themselves, maybe the union-negotiated rate becomes lower than it currently is because they don't have as much pull.
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