On Wednesday, in a decision that was a major blow to public sector and teachers’ unions, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a public sector employee who refused to join a public union and objected to paying a union fee that was automatically deducted from his paycheck every month under the union’s contract. As Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the decision, “States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees.”
The case involved Mark Janus, a child support worker in Illinois, who would not join the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents state employees. He would not pay the $45 union fee (known as an “agency” or “fair share” fee) the union demanded every month from his paycheck.
The right of the union to collect the fee was based on the SCOTUS decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. That decision permitted a union to charge only for services from which nonunion members benefited, including negotiating and administering a collective bargaining agreement and handling grievance procedures, as marketplace.org noted.
But the Supreme Court reversed the Abood decision, ruling that Janus was “undisputedly injured in fact by Illinois’ agency-fee scheme and his injuries can be redressed by a favorable court decision … The State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public- sector employees violates the First Amendment. Abood erred in concluding otherwise, and stare decisis cannot support it. Abood is therefore overruled.”
Read more at the Daily Wire.