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OpenMarket: Government Unions

  • Union Membership Post-Janus

    April 8, 2019
    It has been difficult to gauge the impact of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. In this ruling, the Supreme Court held that forcing non-members to pay fees to a union as a condition of employment is a violation of the First Amendment. Predictions on the fallout from Janus ran the gamut. Some predicted a mass exodus, while other believed few public workers would resign their membership.
  • Union Subsidy Faces Judicial Scrutiny

    March 28, 2019
    “When you’re hired as a teacher, you should be teaching,” said Judge Jose L. Fuentes of the New Jersey Court of Appeals. This statement is commonsense and uncontroversial. Unfortunately, commonsense is in short supply across the United States. A vast majority of states allow teachers, and other state and local employees, to perform union business instead of the job they were hired to do.
  • California Supreme Court Upholds Pension Reform, Punts on 'California Rule'

    March 7, 2019
    On Monday, March 4, the California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, upheld a major provision in the state’s 2012 pension reform legislation, but punted on the broader question of whether pension benefits are protected as contracts under the state constitution—and therefore cannot be altered.
  • Florida Bill Shines Light on Union Subsidy

    March 6, 2019
    Taxpayer dollars should be used to benefit the general public, not special interest groups. Yet, the state of Florida doles out a massive subsidy to government unions on an annual basis. This subsidy is known as union release time and permits public employees to perform union business on the taxpayer dime.
  • Oregon Introduces Taxpayer-Funded Union Subsidy

    January 24, 2019
    Earlier this week, I took a look at legislation that has been enacted to undercut the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Janus v. AFSCME. Unfortunately, state legislatures are just getting started. Today, I’ll examine a bill introduced in Oregon.
  • In Aftermath of 'Janus' Decision, Blue States Push Pro-Union Bills

    January 22, 2019
    Prior to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, government unions were already devising ways to keep members and dues flowing. In a previous post, I discussed some of the ideas that the National Education Association put forth to lessen the impact of a potential Supreme Court decision that ruled forced union dues unconstitutional.
  • Teachers Paid to Walk Off the Job?

    January 15, 2019
    The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have broken down. UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl called the contract offer from the school district “unacceptable.”
  • Massachusetts Teachers Union Dues Do Not 'Stay Local'

    November 15, 2018
    Labor unions like to promote the narrative that dues payments stay local. If you peruse union websites, a consistent message appears that reads something like this: “Most of your dues stay with your local union in order to fund activities that give workers more power at the bargaining table, in the statehouse and in the community.” Unions use the “dues stay local” slogan as a selling point during organizing campaigns and to recruit new members.
  • Judge Strikes Down Trump Executive Orders on Federal Employment

    August 28, 2018

    In a lengthy decision, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia effectively struck down a package of executive orders issued by President Trump that sought to ensure the efficient administration of public business. All that remains of the orders are broad policy statements that do not hold the force of law or provisions not challenged by labor unions. It is a near certainty that the Department of Justice will appeal this decision.

  • End Union Medicaid Dues Skim

    August 13, 2018

    Every Medicaid dollar is statutorily required to directly fund care for the elderly or disabled. This requirement is known as the “direct payment requirement.” Congress, in enacting the Social Security Act, which created the Medicaid program, created narrow exceptions to this condition including sending Medicaid payments to governmental agencies or pursuant to an order of a court. 

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