Labor-management partners share grievance panel ‘best practice’ | NAVAIR – U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command – Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Research, Development, Acquisition, Test and Evaluation

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – An industry-adapted best practice facilitates win-win solutions at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., FRCSE labor-management partners told their NAVAIR colleagues recently.

“Employees say they like the process because they feel heard,” said Earl Vinson, Corporate Operations director at FRCSE. “It also helps supervisors become better at their jobs, because they have to explain why they took the action they did.”

Vinson and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 512 union representatives Mark Andrews and Myra Clark shared the success of their “best practice” grievance panel during NAVAIR’s National Labor Management Partnership Team’s (LMPT) face-to-face meeting at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, North Island, Calif.

FRCSE uses the grievance panel as the last step in the grievance process with the largest of its five unions, the Teamsters, which represent about 1,200 wage grade employees at FRCSE, Vinson said.

The grievance panel is modeled after similar grievance panels used in the trucking and airline industries, Andrews said.

The panel consists of two labor and two management members, whose objective is to find a win-win solution to the grievances filed. The panel reviews two to four cases monthly, with 75 to 80 percent of the issues resolved there, Vinson said.

“We operate like a mini trial court, where the grievant and the manager each present their side and ask questions of one another,” Vinson said.

Panel members then meet in an executive session to vote on the outcome. The majority vote prevails, but if a deadlock occurs, panel members present issue papers to the commanding officer for final determination.

“In most cases, it works well and results in win-win decisions,” Andrews said, sharing the following case as an example:

A sheet metal mechanic (SMM) was tasked to drill moisture release holes in the skin of an aircraft flap; a process used to prepare the flap prior to being moisture baked. The SMM followed the technical specifications and drilled the moisture release holes.

As the flap processed through various stages of repair, the holes were found to be drilled in the wrong locations. The SMM was suspended for three days for failing to follow technical specifications.

The SMM contacted a union steward and filed a grievance, claiming the suspension was unjust. The steward conducted a thorough investigation, finding that things did not add up. The grievance progressed through the negotiated grievance procedure unresolved until the last step in the process—the grievance panel.

During the panel hearing, the steward proved that the SMM followed his supervisor’s instructions and the technical specifications. The steward was also able to show that this task had been performed several times recently with the same costly mistakes. The grievance panel determined the holes were drilled incorrectly because the technical specifications were incorrect.

“The win-win in this case: the grievance panel decided that the SMM be reimbursed for his lost earnings and the technical specifications were sent for corrections,” Andrews said.

The case histories come in handy.

“We maintain a history of resolutions used to resolve future cases before they reach the final step in the grievance process,” Vinson said.

“This grievance panel discussion generated at the face-to-face meeting is an excellent example of how the LMPT is supposed to work,” said Gary Kurtz, NAVAIR assistant commander, Corporate Operations and Total Force. “Sharing best practices and lessons learned among sites helps identify problems and offers the opportunity to propose solutions to better support NAVAIR’s mission.”

The LMPT serves as a command-level forum to enhance communication, collaboration and the adoption of best practices across NAVAIR’s local labor-management partnerships.

via Labor-management partners share grievance panel ‘best practice’ | NAVAIR – U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command – Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Research, Development, Acquisition, Test and Evaluation.

Quinn signs budget, wants more DCFS funding, pension reform – chicagotribune.com

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a new state spending plan today, using the opportunity to try to pressure lawmakers into reforming public pensions, warning retirement funding is rapidly squeezing out dollars that otherwise could be available for schools, health care and social services.

As he acted on the $33.7 billion budget, the Democratic governor followed through on a vow to close prisons and facilities for the developmentally disabled. He recommended shifting the bulk of $57 million lawmakers used to keep prisons open to help offset cuts to the state’s child welfare agency, which was first reported at chicagotribune.com Friday.

“I think the highest priority for me right now looking at the budget … is the Department of Children and Family Services needs more resources. A cut of $50 million by the General Assembly is far too much. We are under court consent decrees with the federal court. We have obligations to these children are depending on us,” Quinn said.

The governor noted that while the overall operating budget is comparable to what the state spent five years ago, the amount earmarked for pensions has roughly tripled during that time, from about $1.7 billion to nearly $5.3 billion.

“We just simply cannot afford this. The squeeze is on our money, our allocations for education, for human services, for health care, for public safety. Less and less of the percentage of our budget will go to those important causes if we don’t reform our pension system,” Quinn said.

Since lawmakers adjourned their spring session at the end of May, Quinn has met with top lawmakers in an attempt to strike a deal on public employee pension reforms.

But as was the case during the session, the talks have become bogged down by efforts from Quinn and leading Democrats, including House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, to have suburban and Downstate school districts pick up the employer share of costs of teacher pensions now paid by the state.

While city property taxpayers pay the bulk of Chicago Public Schools teacher pensions, Republicans fear the move to tap suburban and Downstate schools could lead to higher property taxes. GOP lawmakers want a full examination of money that Chicago schools get from the state to be part of the discussion.

Quinn said he was “going to be disappointed” if legislators take the attitude that pension reforms should wait until after the Nov. 6 election of a new legislature. Unionized teachers and public workers are a powerful political constituency, and that could put reforms on hold until after the voting is done.

“The crying need for pension reform is right now,” the governor said. “We don’t want legislators think this is an issue that’s going away.”

Quinn said the budget cuts discretionary spending by $1.4 billion from the previous year, while addressing $1.3 billion in overdue bills out of a backlog that has approached $9 billion. Despite lawmakers’ decision to fully fund facilities the governor had recommended for closure, Quinn cut the $57 million they had set aside.

Shifting the money to DCFS will require the approval of lawmakers when they return to Springfield after the election. But Quinn said he’s prepared to plead his case.

“We have obligations to these children who are depending on us,” Quinn said.

The $50 million cut to DCFS was on top of a $35.3 million reduction Quinn proposed. Agency officials said they would have to cut programs and lay off 375 workers. Critics feared layoffs would mean case loads for investigators would soar.

The Tribune has reported that the caseloads for DCFS investigators are often double what they should be under a 1991 federal consent decree that set monthly limits on new cases for investigators. The agency also is failing to inspect more than half of the state’s day care facilities on an annual basis as required by law, the Tribune has reported.

Slated for closure are the Tamms super max prison in far southern Illinois, the Dwight Correctional Center for women in central Illinois and juvenile justice centers in Joliet and Murphysboro. Three centers that help inmates transition to life outside of prison will also close, including one on the West Side.

Quinn did propose one revenue idea Saturday: selling Tamms to the federal government. But he acknowledged it would be a lengthy process, noting similar efforts to sell off the vacant Thomson prison in northwestern Illinois. President Obama had originally planned to use Thomson to house transfers from Guantanamo Bay, but federal officials now say it will be used ease overcrowding elsewhere. Talks on that sale are ongoing.

The governor also wants to restore education funding. Legislators had proposed cutting secondary school funding by more than 3 percent, or $210 million, for the upcoming school year. They also called for a cut in higher education spending, reducing funding by about 6 percent to just under $2 billion.On top of the corrections closures, Quinn said his office will move forward with shuttering or consolidating 50 additional facilities, including the Tinley Park Mental Health Center. Savings from those closures will be used to transition residents from the state-run facilities to community care settings.

via Quinn signs budget, wants more DCFS funding, pension reform – chicagotribune.com.

Chicago police, firefighter contracts expire Saturday; talks could drag – Chicago Tribune

The clock runs out on Chicago’s Police Department and Fire Department union contracts Saturday night, but don’t expect any difference in how cops and firefighters respond to emergencies around the city if the deal remains unresolved.

Both unions  are prohibited from striking, and it’s not unusual for contract talks to drag on past the “drop dead” date as the two groups haggle with the city over salaries, incentives and contract minutiae.

If history is any indicator, it could be years before a new contract is in place. Last time around, police and fire deals that expired in 2007 weren’t replaced with new ones until 2010. Cops and firefighters worked under the terms of their old deals until new ones were worked out, and the same will happen this time when agreements aren’t reached by Saturday night.

The delays can leave city bean counters with sticker shock, however.

The 2010 accords, for instance, forced Mayor Richard Daley’s administration to come up with about $160 million to cover back pay increases for police dating to July 2007, and more than $80 million more for retroactive raises for rank-and-file firefighters and paramedics. The city borrowed the money.

The last contracts were set only after an independent arbitrator ruled on a pact for police that set an average of 2 percent raises for five years, dating back to the June 2007 end of that contract. The firefighters union then agreed to the same deal.

This is Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first shot at negotiating with the two public safety unions, and he hasn’t been shy about questioning how the city operates even in such politically protected departments as fire and police.

“Safety will be paramount. Savings will also be an issue, and change will be an issue because you cannot say technology hasn’t changed and made us all better and smarter at doing what we need to do,” the mayor said in February while discussing the upcoming Fire Department contract talks.

One alderman, who did not want his name used while negotiations are ongoing, said Daley seemed more willing to spend city money in the short term to keep the peace with unions. With city finances now hurting, Emanuel is forced to take a harder line.

“The money just isn’t there,” the alderman said. “I’m sure (the police and fire unions) would like to maintain things, but look around — there are cuts being made all over the place.”

Citing a “gentlemen’s agreement” with the city not to negotiate in public, Fraternal Order of Police President Michael Shields declined to discuss the status of talks on a new deal.

Firefighters union President Tom Ryan also would not talk about specifics. In a letter to union members in May, Ryan termed the city’s offer “horrendous,” “insulting” and “ridiculous.”

He detailed several pay bumps for things like training and a clothing allowance that he said the city was aiming to do away with in the next contract, along with firehouse staffing cuts that he said Emanuel hopes to make.

“This looks to be a long and bitter battle,” Ryan said in the letter.

Ryan emailed the following statement when asked about the current status of talks and the Saturday end to the union’s contract: “Negotiations take time and we hope the city comes back to us with some realistic requests, but under no circumstances will our service to the city of Chicago be interrupted or affected by this negotiation process.”

via Chicago police, firefighter contracts expire Saturday; talks could drag – Chicago Tribune.

Knox v. SEIU: A Victory for Worker Freedom – Carl Horowitz – Page 1

In the immediate aftermath of its unfortunate Thursday ruling on the constitutionality of the Obama health care law, it’s easy to forget that the Supreme Court gets things right from time to time. A decision one week earlier, on June 21, was such an occasion. And at least part of the nation’s work force is a little freer for it.

The case was Knox et al. v. SEIU Local 1000. The High Court, true to precedent, put the nation’s public-sector unions on notice: Fee-paying nonmember workers under contract can’t be forced to subsidize political causes they don’t like. Ruling 7-2 on the merits of the case and 5-4 on the issue of First Amendment rights, the Supreme Court concluded that the Sacramento-based Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000, California’s largest public employees’ union, had deprived “agency shop” workers of the right to opt out of making monetary contributions toward union advocacy. The ruling has long-term implications for fiscal reform, especially in jurisdictions where public-sector commitments are forcing states and localities to pare down basic services.

It ought to be intuitive that being represented by a labor union shouldn’t render someone captive of that union’s political activity. Moreover, there is no reason why this principle can’t apply to the public sector as much as the private sector. Indeed, the Supreme Court for decades has said as much. In Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), the Court held that nonunion public employees have a First Amendment right to veto the portion of compulsory fees dedicated to contributions to political candidates or on “express[ions of] political views unrelated to [the union’s] duties as exclusive bargaining representatives.” Nine years later, in Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292 (1986), the Court unanimously affirmed this view, holding that due process requires that a public-sector union can’t collect agency fees from nonmembers unless it observes certain procedural safeguards. The Court ruled that unions must provide nonmembers with a “fair opportunity” to assess the impact of paying for non-chargeable union activities. And in a Michigan case, Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association, 500 U.S. 507 (1991), the Court concluded that union activities, in order to be chargeable to nonmembers, must be both “germaine” to the collective process and do not “significantly add to the burdening of free speech that is inherent in allowance of an agency or union shop.”  read more…

via Knox v. SEIU: A Victory for Worker Freedom – Carl Horowitz – Page 1.

Union power presents serious issues | The News-Messenger | thenews-messenger.com

When President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988 in 1962, giving public workers the right to organize, I doubt if he visualized the monster that it would create, although he did view the new union as a necessary major financial supporter of the Democrat party.

In 1937, President Roosevelt — one of the first progressives — called strikes by public employees “intolerable and unthinkable,” and said they would be nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operation of government.

Actually, unions at that time were tolerable, but they have since been infiltrated with bosses who view the dues-paying members as their personal ATMs. Coupled with their lapdog Democrats, union bosses don’t worry about profits because there are no profits in government. Democratic politicians spend taxpayer money on the unions, who then work and vote to keep them in office.

Wisconsin voters took the first step in controlling public unions by defeating the union/Democratic party- sponsored recall of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin. One of Walker’s primary aims was to eliminate the common union-induced practice of having the state deduct dues money from members’ paychecks and send the money directly to union treasuries at taxpayers’ expense. In practice, public employee unions are a mechanism for the involuntary transfer of taxpayers’ money to the Democratic Party.

An interesting part of the Wisconsin election is that when union members were given the option of voluntarily paying their dues, 50 percent of the municipal employees declined and 6,000 teachers dropped from the rosters.

Had the union effort prevailed, it would also have established a precedent for future special interest groups — if a legally elected public official doesn’t meet your demands, you simply initiate a recall election against him.

Union power has long been held in control by market forces. Union-controlled companies that give too much in pay and benefits soon go out of business, and their members are relegated to unemployment. Kennedy noted that unions composed of government employees completely eliminated the ability of market forces to temper their power, because they were not controlled by the demands of consumers. Unions then discovered that they could control generations of political systems by controlling a major political party with their donations.

A government union converts the public servant into the public’s master.

A major example of the unions’ power is in public education. Democrats largely control the areas plagued by the worst schools in the country — the inner city schools of America. It’s never about the kids. It’s about the power, perks and profligacy of the unions. If politicians were truly interested in doing whatever is necessary to better the schools, promoting voucher plans and charter schools would seem to be at the top of the list — but it is the last thing they will consider. They are primarily concerned with the financial support of the teachers’ unions that are against change.

It’s not always Democrats. Republican legislators in Pennsylvania also are caving to teachers’ unions.

Walker doesn’t have the oratorical skills of President Barack Obama, but apparently he doesn’t need them. He told Wisconsin voters how he was going to begin solving their state’s financial problems by controlling unions without enlarging government and raising taxes, and they believed him. In contrast, Obama recently stated that one of the economy’s major problems is that “local and state government hiring has been going in the wrong direction,” meaning declining.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer recently stated that the failed Wisconsin recall will be remembered as the beginning of the long decline of the public-sector union. He said that “an institution founded to protect its members grew in size, wealth, power and arrogance, thanks to decades of symbiotic deals with bought politicians.”

He had no thoughts on the ultimate fate of the lapdogs.

via Union power presents serious issues | The News-Messenger | thenews-messenger.com.

Pension reform needed | The Columbus Dispatch

While the Ohio House of Representatives enjoys a summer break, members should bear in mind an important bit of unfinished business from the recently ended session: reforming the terms of Ohio’s five public pension systems.

The retirement plans, funded by taxpayer-supported government agencies as well as public employees’ contributions, must change a variety of terms, including retirement age, contribution rates and payout calculations, if they are to ensure long-term solvency.

The boards that administer the plans have been asking lawmakers for several years to approve changes. While the Senate approved bills regarding all five in May, the House of Representatives declined to take up the matter before the recent recess. Leaders say they hope to address it before the end of the year.

The longer such reforms are put off, the further out of fiscal balance the pension funds get, and the tougher the remedy. Eventually, changes might include a part of the pension benefit that isn’t mandated by law but has grown enormously expensive: health care.

Subsidizing health-care coverage for retirees too young to qualify for Medicare long has been a self-imposed burden on public-pension plans.

The burden is self-imposed in two ways: State law doesn’t require any coverage, but also, it would not be as necessary or widely used if the public-employee pension plans didn’t allow people to retire so much earlier than is typical in the private sector. Many public employees can retire in their late 40s or 50s, long before they are old enough to be eligible for health-care coverage through Medicare.

That’s why raising retirement ages, as the reforms approved by the Senate generally do, will lessen the need to trim health-care benefits.

Still, one of the five plans, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), already is warning members that their health-care benefit is likely to change, even if other reforms are approved. Trustees of the plan are considering requiring retirees to be older and have more years of service before they qualify for coverage, reducing the amount the plan will pay toward premiums, limiting or eliminating coverage for spouses, along with other cutbacks.

A blog entry on the pension system’s website tells employees that the legislature’s failure to act on requested plan changes for more than two years “has played a major role” in the need for health-care cutbacks, but that changes would be necessary in any event. This is because health-care costs are rising, people are living longer and the retirement of the baby-boomer generation will greatly increase demands on the system.

Lawmakers in the House can help by passing pension-reform legislation before year’s end. If they don’t, plan administrators say, changes to health care will have to go beyond painful to drastic: cutting expenditures by two-thirds, which would mean offering only limited coverage.

Comments on the OPERS website indicate how unhappy members and retirees will be with cutbacks to health-care coverage through their pensions.

But the alternative — a pension plan that goes bust — is much worse.

via Pension reform needed | The Columbus Dispatch.

STATE HIGH COURT PONDERING PENSION CASE PENSION REFORM CHALLENGE UNDER REVIEW | UTSanDiego.com

SAN DIEGO — The California Supreme Court has shown an interest in examining the effort to invalidate San Diego’s voter-approved pension reform initiative, and if the court takes up the case, it could cut out weeks — if not years — of legal battles.

Proponents of the measure unsuccessfully pushed for the 4th District Court of Appeals to consolidate cases against it as well as skip hearings by a state board and asked the Supreme Court to look at the legal issues surrounding the initiative.

Employee unions have said city leaders violated state law by helping craft Proposition B as a citizen’s initiative, sidestepping the city’s legal obligation to negotiate with labor over benefit changes. Proposition B calls for replacing pensions with 401(k)-style plans for most new city hires and proposes a five-year freeze on the pensionable pay of current employees. Two-thirds of voters approved the measure June 5.

Supporters of the initiative saw the Supreme Court’s request for additional information this week as a positive sign after labor scored two separate legal victories against the measure earlier this month.

The legal issues began in February when an initial review by the state Public Employees Relation Board found there was “reasonable cause” to believe the law may have been broken. The board sought a court injunction to block the measure from appearing on the June ballot, but it was denied. The city was able to successfully delay the PERB administrative hearings until after the public vote.

On June 19, the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal ruled the “trial court erred” by delaying the PERB proceedings and that they should proceed. The next hearing is scheduled for July 17.

A separate ruling from the same appellate court a week earlier denied City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s request to consolidate the legal challenges to Proposition B, bypass the PERB hearing and rule on the issue.

Goldsmith said the Supreme Court’s request for more information is often a prelude to it hearing the matter directly. He said that could save a significant amount of time by keeping the legal battles out of lower courts and board hearings.

Goldsmith said he believes the larger issue at hand is whether citizen’s initiatives will be deemed to supersede the usual contract negotiation laws cities and unions must abide by.

“How do you give the 116,000 people who signed the initiative the right to negotiate? The fact the mayor supported it doesn’t change that it was a citizen’s initiative,” he said. “If the involvement of government officials can render a citizen initiative not a citizen initiative, then the people are losing their constitutional right.”

Michael Zucchet, the head of the Municipal Employees Association, which filed the initial PERB complaint, said he does not think the city and the proponents of Proposition B have a chance of skipping over the board hearings.

“It’s not even something in the realm of possibility at the moment,” he said.

Zucchet said the point of the hearings is to gather data, which is a crucial step before any court hears a case.

The four labor unions and PERB were required to provide information to the court by July 3, with the city giving a response back by July 10. Goldsmith said it is likely the court will determine whether to take or reject the case before the PERB hearing scheduled a week later.

via STATE HIGH COURT PONDERING PENSION CASE PENSION REFORM CHALLENGE UNDER REVIEW | UTSanDiego.com.

Reader Rebuttal (Tom Dominguez): O.C. pension reform | county, pensions, orange – Opinion – The Orange County Register

We at the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs are deeply disturbed by the comments made by Board of Supervisors Chairman John Moorlach in a June 24 editorial in the Register [“Pensions eat more of O.C. budget”].

AOCDS is still months away from sitting down at the bargaining table with the county, but the board chairman has already stated publicly that he is more than willing to impose a contract and push a ballot initiative, similar to recently passed measures in San Diego and San Jose, that would reduce our members’ pension benefits during their careers unless we cave in to his demands on salaries, pensions and benefits. Moorlach’s public comments are in direct conflict with collective bargaining laws.

Good governance takes cooperation.

Unfortunately, these bullying tactics are nothing new for Moorlach. He has a well-documented history of not only ignoring the law, but ignoring his own taxpayer-funded legal advice. Now he is threatening his own employees even before they can sit down at the bargaining table.

We can only hope the other four supervisors do not share Moorlach’s apparent disdain for the law and Orange County’s fine deputy sheriffs.

Orange County deputy sheriffs have been at the forefront of meaningful reforms that have saved the county millions of dollars. AOCDS was one of the last in the county to receive 3-percent-at-50 pensions and one of the first in the county to pay toward our pensions. We were also one of the first to adopt a second-tier pension formula for new hires.

It is critical that the county and its deputy sheriffs work collaboratively to come to a contract agreement that benefits the taxpayers, its law enforcement officers and the county. Orange County residents deserve nothing less.

via Reader Rebuttal (Tom Dominguez): O.C. pension reform | county, pensions, orange – Opinion – The Orange County Register.

Supreme Court Upholds Fairness in Union-Dues Case – Reason.com

For people who truly are interested in a just and fair society, there’s one easy way to sort through some seemingly complex issues: turn the tables. If, for instance, one is debating a controversial law affecting a particular group, it’s best to think about how fair it would seem if that law were applied in the same way to you.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a verdict in the case of Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, showing how deeply it understands that basic concept. By a 7-2 vote, the high court slapped down the union for deducting money from its employees’ paychecks and using it to fight against California campaign initiatives—without giving its nonmembers a chance to opt out of these political campaign contributions.

Typically, a union official told the Sacramento Bee that the ruling us another “attack on the right of public sector workers to act collectively.” But let’s apply our test to these outraged union spokespeople. What if their money were deducted by force from their paycheck and used to support conservative tax-limiting initiatives? Would they be OK with that? We know the answer.

Ruled the court, “Public-sector unions have the right under the First Amendment to express their views on political and social issues without government interference. … But employees who choose not to join a union have the same rights.”

There’s a legal requirement [the Hudson rule] that nonmembers, who must pay union dues in union-shop states such as California to cover the portion of union efforts used to negotiate salary and benefit matters on all workers’ behalf, have a chance to opt out of those portion of the collected dues used for political purposes. The idea is they shouldn’t be forced to subsidize political activities that may fly in the face of their own beliefs. But the SEIU concocted a scheme to evade that requirement in order to, ironically, battle a statewide ballot initiative that would have limited their ability to unilaterally take such dues from members in the future.

As the Supreme Court explained, “In June 2005, respondent, a public-sector union (SEIU), sent to California employees its annual Hudson notice, setting and capping monthly dues and estimating that 56.35 (percent) of its total expenditures in the coming year would be chargeable expenses. A nonmember had 30 days to object to full payment of dues but would still have to pay the chargeable portion.”

After that 30-day time period expired, the union then imposed a huge surcharge on dues—a 25 percent assessment that would be used for the 2006 election. Because the 30-day opt-out period had expired, union officials figured they had come up with a clever way to circumvent the law. Nonmembers had to pay the amount and they provided no opt-out provision for the temporary dues increase. Eventually, the union offered to return the dues, but the court ruled that it is not a moot case—the union can collect dues, use them for political purposes and then after the political damage is done simply return the money if anyone bothers to sue.

Here’s the court again: “Under the First Amendment, when a union imposes a special assessment or dues increase levied to meet expenses that were not disclosed when the regular assessment was set, it must provide a fresh notice and may not exact any funds from nonmembers without their affirmative consent.” That’s clear and that’s fair.

The justices also made it clear that they are open to consider the broader matter of whether it’s appropriate for unions to be able to have the government deduct their dues from workers. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito’s explained: “By authorizing a union to collect fees from nonmembers and permitting the use of an opt-out system for the collection of fees levied to cover nonchargeable expenses, our prior decisions approach, if they do not cross, the limit of what the First Amendment can tolerate.”

Interpretation: Please bring this broader opt-in/op-out issue to the court and we will invalidate the current, unfair way unions grab money from workers.  read more…

via Supreme Court Upholds Fairness in Union-Dues Case – Reason.com.