Today, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, a case that asked justices whether requiring public employees to pay at least some part of union dues, even when choosing not to be a member of the union, violates their First Amendment rights.
In deciding the Janus case, the justices overturned a precedent from the 1970s that held that such public sector employees don’t have to pay the portion of dues that go directly to political spending, but must continue paying the “fair share” dues that cover contract negotiations and enforcement benefits – known as Agency Fees.
Despite this decision, it is the intention of SAANYS to continue to fully support our members in legal, bargaining, advocacy, and professional development. We will not allow this attack on unions to alter our support of our members, who are in turn supporting the education of the schoolchildren of NYS in a difficult political environment.
Commented SAANYS Executive Director Kevin Casey, “Will some members of SAANYS or other collective bargaining groups decide to ‘opt-out’ of membership? Perhaps. Perhaps those individuals are willing to benefit from the unions’ negotiations and contract enforcement paid for by their colleagues, but not them. Perhaps those individuals are comfortable with taking the risk that they will not need legal services, or are willing to pay privately hired attorneys if they do. But that view would be short-sighted as there is no question that we are more effective when together we are pulling in the same direction – supporting our profession, supporting public education, and supporting one another.”