This morning the US Supreme Court released a 5-4 ruling, affirming that non-union workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public-sector unions.
“The ruling affirms a right that, thankfully, Nevada teachers already have: The right to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to financially support their union,” explained Nevada Policy Research Institute Communications Director Michael Schaus.
The ruling comes the week before Nevada’s annual “Opt-Out” period of July 1st through 15th, when Nevada Teachers can opt out of paying dues to their respective unions.
The landmark case of Janus vs AFSCME represents one of the most crucial labor cases to come before the Supreme Court in years, if not decades. The majority decided unions are unable to force public workers who have opted out of membership to pay so-called “agency fees” in lieu of membership dues.
“We applaud the decision,” says Schaus. “No worker should ever be forced to financially support an organization with which they don’t agree, and in affirming the position of Mark Janus, the Supreme Court has extended all public-sector workers the same basic right Nevadans have enjoyed for years.”
The ruling makes it possible for public-sector workers in non-right-to-work states to decide for themselves whether they wish to pay dues or fees to a collective bargaining agent or union — a right that, until this morning, did not exist for government workers in roughly half of the United States.
According to Schaus, the decision should be welcome news for public-sector workers, regardless of whether they belong to their local union.
“For too long, union leadership has taken their members for granted — treating them as little more than a bunch of walking membership dues. But when members are given the right to opt-out, suddenly workers are free to vote with their wallets on how well union leaders are representing their interests,” explained Schaus.
“In some cases, we’ve seen this in dramatic fashion. In Clark County, for example, over 40 percent of teachers have already exercised this right over the years — deciding to keep their hard-earned money rather than hand it over to an organization that continually fails to provide its members with substantial value.
“Thankfully, this right is now available to every public-sector worker in the United States.”
Nevada teachers who are interested in opting-out of paying union dues can visit NVTeacherChoice.com for more information on how to opt-out of membership in the first two weeks of July.
“We congratulate Mark Janus on his victory at the Supreme Court, and we’re pleased that the Supreme Court has affirmed the right that a growing number of Nevada teachers are already exercising,” said Schaus.