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Union reaction to SCOTUS Janus decision

June 27, 2018 07:10 PM

Reaction to SCOTUS decision involving union fees. The Janus ruling affects every person working for a school district, or local or state government.

CSEA Executive Vice President Mary Sullivan called the Supreme Court's Janus decision an attack on working people.

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"It's not about anything but greed and corporate CEOs and greedy corporations," said Sullivan.

She says organized labor could emerge even stronger after this ruling.

"They need unions now more than ever because of the corporate greed there is in this country, that everything's about building my billions, as opposed to making sure the working person has a decent wage, a living wage, making sure they have health benefits to take care of themselves and their families, that when they want to retire they can do so with dignity because they have a pension."

However, some call the decision a win, estimating that 200,000 New York State workers chose not to join unions.

"It's really good news for all the people who have been forced to pay agency fees in New York. It's going to save them together about $112 million a year," said Ken Girardin with the Empire Center for Public Policy.  

"It will definitely reduce the government unions' political influence," said Girardin.  "And that's good news for taxpayers, because it will put the government unions on more of a level playing field when they're dealing with the government, so that's a win for the taxpayers.  It's also a win for workers because these unions are going to have to be more responsive to them and take better care of them."

New York lawmakers, expecting this decision, recently enacted legislation that will help protect public employee unions.

"In the budget, there was a provision that all parties agreed to that really defined the opt-out period when a member may decide not to be a dues-paying member," said Assemblyman John McDonald (D - Cohoes).

That provision also allows unions to deny some services to those who opt out.

While union leaders are disappointed by the ruling, they are not surprised. They have been preparing for it for years with an information campaign and door-to-door member engagement.


MORE INFORMATION: You can read the full SCOTUS decision here.

Credits

Kumi Tucker

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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