Public Sector Workers 

Victory: Supreme Court Strikes Down SEIU Scheme to Force CA Nonunion State Employees to Fund Union Politics

News Release

Supreme Court Strikes Down SEIU Scheme to Force CA Nonunion State Employees to Fund Union Politics

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys close union boss political fundraising loophole, winning again at U.S. Supreme Court

Washington, DC (June 21, 2012) - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 today, siding with nonmember California state employees challenging a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) political fee charged to them without notice and opportunity to opt out.

The case concludes a prolonged legal challenge affecting some 36,000 California government employees initiated by eight California civil servants who filed a class-action lawsuit with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

In 2005, SEIU officials imposed a "special assessment" to raise money from all state employees forced to accept union representation as a job condition for a union political fund, regardless of their membership status. The fund was used to defeat four ballot proposals, including one that would have revoked public employee unions' special privilege of using forced fees for politics unless an employee consents. Employees who refrained from union membership were given no chance to opt out of paying the SEIU's political assessment.

Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work, issued the following statement regarding today's ruling:

"Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld workers' First Amendment rights and struck down another union boss scheme to confiscate and spend state workers' hard earned money for politics without their permission."

Click here to read the full release.

Wisconsin Civil Servants File Federal Appeals Brief Supporting Governor’s Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

News Release

Wisconsin Civil Servants File Federal Appeals Brief Supporting Governor’s Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

Workers ask court to uphold reform measure protecting most Badger State public workers from forced unionism

Madison, WI (June 6, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, three Wisconsin public employees have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to uphold all of Governor Scott Walker's public-sector unionism reform measures, known as "Act 10."

Pleasant Prairie teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz filed the brief yesterday.

The workers, who are forced to accept the "representation" of union officials, want instead the freedom to represent themselves with their employers. The workers are challenging a lower court judge’s ruling to strike down Wisconsin's new union recertification requirements and the ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues for general employees.

Read the entire release here.

Civil Servants Appeal Wisconsin Public-Sector Unionism Case to Federal Appeals Court

News Release

Civil Servants Appeal Wisconsin Public-Sector Unionism Case to Federal Appeals Court

Workers ask court to uphold reform measure protecting most Badger State public workers from forced unionism

Madison, WI (May 1, 2011) – Three Wisconsin public employees have asked a federal appeals court to uphold all of Governor Scott Walker's public-sector unionism reform measures, known as "Act 10," in the latest development regarding the ongoing court saga.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Pleasant Prairie English teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz filed their appeal late last week supporting the reforms which limited government union officials' monopoly bargaining power over public workers and taxpayers.

All three Wisconsin civil servants want to exercise the freedom to represent themselves with their employers. In their earlier brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, they likened "the 'services' provided by (union officials) to be akin to those of some itinerant street window washers who sling dirty water on your car windshield, smear it around, and then demand payment." The teachers also object to the union's use of their forced union dues for the union's political activities and to the public employer serving as the unions' collecting agents.

The workers are appealing the district court's rulings denying them intervenor status and striking down Act 10's provisions that protect workers with a yearly secret-ballot recertification election to determine whether they want a union hierarchy to remain in their workplace and that prohibit the deduction of union dues.

Read the entire release here.

Judge Reaffirms Legal Basis for Government Union Reforms While Striking down Part of Wisconsin’s Act 10

News Release

Judge Reaffirms Legal Basis for Government Union Reforms While Striking down Part of Wisconsin's Act 10

Ruling makes clear: Future reforms that include all government sector unions would be safe from legal challenges

Madison, WI (March 30, 2012) – In response to Judge Conley's opinion striking down several aspects of Wisconsin's recently-enacted public sector union reforms, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix issued the following statement:

"Critically, Judge Conley's ruling reaffirms the right of states to limit government union officials' monopoly bargaining powers. Once again, a federal court has made it clear that union officials have no right to collect dues or fees from nonmembers."

"While we disagree with the ruling's conclusion that there isn't a rational basis for recertification requirements and a ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues for general employees, the opinion shows why public safety officials should not have been exempted in the first place. The real solution to the 'equal protection' claims raised by the plaintiffs in this lawsuit is to apply Act 10 to all government employee unions and stop – in the judge's words – 'selectively subsidizing public unions.' If anything, this ruling provides a blueprint for state legislators looking to limit union officials' extraordinary special legal powers that no other private organization enjoys."

Read the entire release here.

News Release: Alaska State Troopers Seek to Handcuff Government Union Forced-Dues Scheme

News Release

Alaska State Troopers Seek to Handcuff Government Union Forced-Dues Scheme

Right to Work Foundation attorneys challenge union hierarchy for violating employees' constitutional rights

Anchorage, AK (March 8, 2012) – Two Alaska State Troopers have filed a federal lawsuit against a local union and the Department of Public Safety for violating their rights. Patrick Johnson and Robin Benning filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska in Anchorage with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

Both Johnson and Benning resigned from formal union membership in the Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA) union, an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 803, in August 2011, and invoked their right to refrain from paying full union dues.

Read the entire release here.


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