Saturday, March 17, 2018
Post Janus New York.
The unions, lead by the UFT, is sounding the alarm about what the Janus decision will do to public unions. Granted, the unions will lose the right for mandatory dues checkoff and data from Michigan shows that approximately 20% of members refused to pay union dues when the State banned mandatory dues to the unions. These members who refuse to pay their fair share of union dues but still must be represented by the union are known as "free riders". How will it affect New York State public unions? Here is my best guess.
In a post Janus New York, unions will still have Civil Service protections in the form of the Taylor Law. The Taylor Law requires that Municipalities must bargain in "good faith" with unions. That includes arbitration, meditation, and hearing of grievances. It also penalizes unions who participates in work stoppages or strikes.
One of the most important amendments is called the Triborough amendment. The Tribourough amendment requires that all municipalities cannot change work rules or alter the last contract. until a new contract is negotiated with the union. That means that once a contract lapsed, all the provisions of that contract stays in force until a new contract is agreed upon by the union. You can read my take Here.
As for the UFT? They have a political action wing that relies on voluntary contributions called COPE Therefore, if you believe our union leadership that no union dues pay for political or social causes, then the reduction in union dues colected will have little or no effect on union contributions to politicians since COPE funds are unaffected by Janus. Therefore, any future contract negotiations with the City should not be significantly affected by the UFT receiving less union dues, despite the scare tactics the union leadership will employ on their members.
When the UFT comes knocking at your door and tells you what Janus can do to the union's power and our benefits, TAKE WHAT THEY SAY WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.