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Thread: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

  1. #1
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Default Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

    Year begins with a nailbiter involving two of the most provocative features of public sector unions in many US states (in this case, California): mandatory fees for non-members and the unions' "obligation" to represent all employees in an organisation, including non-members.

    How will the court rule?

    What will be the most important challenges for each party?

    What will be the short- and long-term consequences?

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democ...1/labour-pains

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democ...ur-s-reasoning

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/09/us...sociation.html
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  2. #2
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    Not sure how the court rule though I hope the court rules in favor of freedom. Public employee unions are are an awful awful thing.

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    The First Amendment right to freedom of assembly should also mean the right to freedom from assembly. Non-members should never have to pay if they don't want to, while unions should have no duty to represent people who don't want to pay for representation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    ... while unions should have no duty to represent people who don't want to pay for representation.
    See, that's the impossible obstacle thrown out there to thwart any possible solution. The organization hiring these people can't afford the extra expense of two entirely separate payroll schemes.
    .

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    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    See, that's the impossible obstacle thrown out there to thwart any possible solution. The organization hiring these people can't afford the extra expense of two entirely separate payroll schemes.
    What extra expense? Any would be minimal.
    Brevior saltare cum deformibus viris est vita

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    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    See, that's the impossible obstacle thrown out there to thwart any possible solution. The organization hiring these people can't afford the extra expense of two entirely separate payroll schemes.
    A) they wouldn't have to run two entirely separate payroll schemes, the union would have to accept their unique payroll requirements being slotted into the framework used by the other district employees. B) the CTA itself has been doing its level best to create exactly the situation you think this would cause, by trying to keep the teachers from fitting into the same payroll used by the rest of the employees in the district and instead attempting to force districts to treat them independently.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

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    1. Who funds the retirement program for the non dues payers?
    2. Who sets guidelines for performance, conformance and promotion for the non dues payers?

    Sounds like you two are willing to ignore the obvious. Then again maybe you really want another level or two of bureaucracy??
    .

  8. #8
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    1. Who funds the retirement program for the non dues payers?
    The district and the state. Which is a requirement many teachers, who would prefer to use Social Security like the rest of the country, don't like but the CTA doesn't care and won't listen to them, it requires a different system be used. Not even the general state retirement system, CALPRS, but one for the teachers alone and not even the other workers employed by the school districts. As I said, there is already a dual system in place, at the requirement of the CTA.

    2. Who sets guidelines for performance, conformance and promotion for the non dues payers?
    The same people setting them for all employees right now, just like in every other HR unit in the country, including both private firms and public entities in states which don't have the same rules enshrining the CTA's ability to be the most sclerotic, least-responsive union to the interests and demands of its own people in the country.

    Being, if you want to discuss the topic and throw stones at the others doing so, it would really behoove you to learn at least the basic structures of the topic first.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    See, that's the impossible obstacle thrown out there to thwart any possible solution. The organization hiring these people can't afford the extra expense of two entirely separate payroll schemes.
    They don't have to. The company can do whatever it pleases, if they choose to offer non-unionised employees the exact same terms and conditions as unionised ones (or different ones for that matter) then that is their choice and nothing to do with the union.

    I run payroll for my company and I have a number of people on different pay rates etc, but only one payroll system.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  10. #10
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    When I worked for CMP, we had a union shop and a non union shop for the CSR's...they seemed to manage it easily.
    Brevior saltare cum deformibus viris est vita

  11. #11
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Damn, I was a week later coming back and all these great things.

    I hope the court rules against this "agency fee" model, but I don't think this is actually a huge risk to the government unions killing American government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    See, that's the impossible obstacle thrown out there to thwart any possible solution. The organization hiring these people can't afford the extra expense of two entirely separate payroll schemes.
    That's your biggest objection.

  12. #12
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Well, this took an unusual route but finally we can begin to dismantle the political machine of compelled speech known as public sector unions.

    Supreme Court Ruling Delivers a Sharp Blow to Labor Union

    By Adam Liptak
    June 27, 2018

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court dealt a major blow on Wednesday to organized labor. By a 5-to-4 vote, with the more conservative justices in the majority, the court ruled that government workers who choose not to join unions may not be required to help pay for collective bargaining.

    Forcing those workers to finance union activity violated the First Amendment, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority. “We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern,” he wrote.

    The ruling means that public-sector unions across the nation, already under political pressure, could lose tens of millions of dollars and see their effectiveness diminished.

    “We recognize that the loss of payments from nonmembers may cause unions to experience unpleasant transition costs in the short term, and may require unions to make adjustments in order to attract and retain members,” Justice Alito wrote. “But we must weigh these disadvantages against the considerable windfall that unions have received” over the years.

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch joined the majority opinion, which overruled a four-decade-old precedent.

    Justice Elena Kagan summarized her dissent from the bench, a sign of profound disagreement.

    “There is no sugarcoating today’s opinion,” she wrote. “The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this nation’s law — and in its economic life — for over 40 years.”

    “As a result,” she wrote, “it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance. And it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.”

    Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined the dissent.

    The majority based its ruling on the First Amendment, saying that requiring payments to unions that negotiate with the government forces workers to endorse political messages that may be at odds with their beliefs.

    Unions say that reasoning is flawed. Nonmembers are already entitled to refunds of payments spent on political activities, like advertising to support a political candidate.

    Collective bargaining is different, the unions say, and workers should not be free to reap the benefits of such bargaining without paying their fair share of the costs.

    The decision could encourage many workers perfectly happy with their unions’ work to make the economically rational decision to opt out of paying for it.

    President Trump took to Twitter to praise the decision, saying it would be a “big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!”

    Limiting the power of public unions has long been a goal of conservative groups. They seemed poised to succeed in the Supreme Court in 2016, when a majority of the justices looked ready to rule that the fees were unconstitutional.

    But Justice Antonin Scalia died not long after the earlier case was argued, and it ended in a 4-to-4 deadlock. The new case, which had been filed in 2015, was waiting in the wings and soon reached the Supreme Court. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court appointee, voted with the majority.

    The new case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, No. 16-1466, was brought by Mark Janus, a child support specialist who works for the state government in Illinois. He sued the union, saying he did not agree with its positions and should not be forced to pay fees to support its work.

    Wednesday’s ruling overruled the court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which had made a distinction between two kinds of compelled payments. Forcing nonmembers to pay for a union’s political activities violated the First Amendment, the court said. But it was constitutional, the court added, to require nonmembers to help pay for the union’s collective bargaining efforts to prevent freeloading and ensure “labor peace.”

    The new decision struck down an Illinois law that required government workers who chose not to join a union to “pay their proportionate share of the costs of the collective bargaining process, contract administration and pursuing matters affecting wages, hours and other conditions of employment.” More than 20 states have laws that require such “agency fees.”

    According to Justice Alito, workers like Mr. Janus were charged about 78 percent of the dues paid by members of the union.

    “Abood was poorly reasoned,” Justice Alito wrote. “It has led to practical problems and abuse. It is inconsistent with other First Amendment cases and has been undermined by more recent decisions.”

    The distinction drawn in the Abood case — between a union’s political spending and other activities — is untenable and unworkable, Justice Alito added. Taken together, he said, these factors justified a departure from the principle of stare decisis, Latin for “to stand by things decided.”

    Justice Alito wrote that “labor peace” did not justify the compelled payments allowed by the Abood decision, saying that there was “no evidence that the pandemonium it imagined would result if agency fees were not allowed.”

    Free riding may be the wrong metaphor, Justice Alito added. Mr. Janus “strenuously objects to this free-rider label,” Justice Alito wrote. “He argues that he is not a free rider on a bus headed for a destination that he wishes to reach but is more like a person shanghaied for an unwanted voyage.”

    In dissent, Justice Kagan wrote that “the majority subverts all known principles of stare decisis.”

    Citing earlier majority opinions from Justice Alito that paved the way for Wednesday’s ruling, she said the supposed erosion of legal support for Abood was a “bootstrapping.”

    “Don’t like a decision?” Justice Kagan wrote. “Just throw some gratuitous criticisms into a couple of opinions and a few years later point to them as ‘special justifications’ ” for overruling a precedent.

    “The majority,” Justice Kagan wrote, “has overruled Abood for no exceptional or special reason, but because it never liked the decision. It has overruled Abood because it wanted to.”

    More broadly, she wrote, the decision was one of several in which conservatives have misused the Constitution’s free speech protections to achieve political ends. “The First Amendment was meant for better things,” she wrote. “It was meant not to undermine but to protect democratic governance — including over the role of public-sector unions.”

    Justice Alito wrote that unions have survived in settings where compelled payments from nonmembers are not required. Only 27 percent of federal workers, for instance are members of a union, he wrote.

    Justice Kagan responded that the analogy to Illinois and other states was inapt. “First,” she wrote, “many fewer federal employees pay dues than have voted for a union to represent them, indicating that free-riding in fact pervades the federal sector. And second, that sector is not typical of other public workforces. Bargaining in the federal sphere is limited; most notably, it does not extend to wages and benefits.”

    Wednesday’s ruling was not likely to be particularly disruptive, Justice Alito wrote, “because public-sector collective-bargaining agreements are generally of rather short duration.”

    Justice Kagan disputed that. “The majority undoes bargains reached all over the country,” Justice Kagan wrote, adding that the decision “wreaks havoc on entrenched legislative and contractual arrangements.”

    In New York City alone, she wrote, 144 contracts with 97 public-sector unions call for agency fees and will have to be renegotiated.

    The decision is unlikely to have a direct effect on unionized employees of private businesses, because the First Amendment restricts government action and not private conduct. But unions now represent only 6.5 percent of private sector employees, down from the upper teens in the early 1980s, and most of the labor movement’s strength these days is in the public sector.

    Wednesday’s ruling contained a final blow for public unions, saying that workers must affirmatively agree to support them.

    “Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay,” Justice Alito wrote.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/u...zed-labor.html

  13. #13
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Absolutely the correct decision. Unions ought to be able to compel their members to pay fees but non-members shouldn't pay for a club they've not joined.

    They also should lose the support of the Union if they haven't paid for it. The Union should convince people why they're worth joining not simply extract fees whether they have or haven't.

    Forcing non-Union employees to pay for the Union is no different to forcing Democrat voters to finance the GOP.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Absolutely the correct decision. Unions ought to be able to compel their members to pay fees but non-members shouldn't pay for a club they've not joined.

    They also should lose the support of the Union if they haven't paid for it. The Union should convince people why they're worth joining not simply extract fees whether they have or haven't.

    Forcing non-Union employees to pay for the Union is no different to forcing Democrat voters to finance the GOP.
    Agreed, sad to see it was a 5-4 decision should have been 9-0.

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