Anti-Labor Group ‘Urges’ Federal Government ‘To Stop All Existing’ Union Payroll Deductions - Argument Has Already Been Rejected By A Federal Appellate Court In Decision That Did Not Set A Precedent
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - A prominent Anti-Labor Advocacy Organization is urging the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to call on agencies to cancel all existing agreements to deduct Union Dues from Employees’ paychecks, claiming the agreements violate the First Amendment.
Last month, the FLRA proposed changing its policy guidance, at the behest of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), governing how Union Dues are deducted from Federal Employees’ paychecks.
Under the current system, when Federal Workers choose to join a Union, they sign a contract agreeing to have dues taken out of their paychecks for one year.
There is a 15-day window at the end of that contract, during which the Employee can elect to leave the Union - otherwise, it is automatically renewed for another year.
OPM, through the FLRA, argued that the 2018 Supreme Court decision Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees requires the government to change the policy to allow Federal Union Members to cancel their Union Dues deduction at any time, so long as at least one year has passed since they first joined the Union.
The Janus decision stated that so-called “Agency Fees” collected by a Union from Non-Members, common for Public Sector Unions at the state and local level, constituted a form of compelled speech and violated the First Amendment of the Constitution.
As the deadline for submitting comments on the proposal to change how Federal Union Dues are collected approached, the National Right-To-Work Foundation urged the FLRA to go even further by cancelling all existing agreements to deduct Union Dues from Feds’ paychecks.
The organization has been a key Anti-Labor Advocacy Organization in recent years, most recently representing Mark Janus in the case that bears his name.
In its comments, the organization argued that Janus also applies to Unions in the Federal Government and that agreements to deduct dues from Employees’ paychecks must include an explicit disclaimer that they are “waiving their First Amendment rights” in the process.
“Janus requires that the government have proof Employees waived their First Amendment Rights before taking their money to subsidize Union Speech because the government violated Employees’ First Amendment rights if it compels to subsidize Union Speech,” the organization wrote. “This is true irrespective of whether the Employees are Union Members or Non-Members. To satisfy that standard, at minimum, an assignment form must both notify Employees of their First Amendment rights to refrain from subsidizing Union Speech and expressly provide that the Employee is agreeing to waive that right for one year.”
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