Please read CAS’ brochure on the Value of Union Membership. It contains crucial and timely information about major legal developments affecting all public employees.
APRIL 18, 2018
CAS LAWYERS CONDUCT JANUS WORKSHOPS
CAS attorneys Brad Stuhler and Michael Starvaggi recently conducted a series of informative workshops for CAS unit presidents and executive board members entitled “Janus v. AFSCME: The story behind the case and what questions need to be asked” at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel in Melville on Tuesday, April 17th.
As we await the announcement of the Supreme Court verdict in Janus v. AFSCME that is expected to be announced later in June, over seventy CAS unit leaders were able to attend either the morning or afternoon workshops. The CAS attorneys pointed out that the Janus case is merely one part of a decades-long strategic campaign meant to strip collective bargaining and unionization from American workers. They stressed that we cannot afford to allow ourselves to be as easily manipulated and naive as Mr. Janus. Every public sector employee needs to be aware of the political forces behind the case and what they are looking to accomplish. They emphasized that it is imperative for every public sector teacher, administrator, police officer, firefighter, county and town worker to understand what exactly is at stake in Janus v. AFSCME and the goal of the corporate power brokers who are behind the case.
The attorneys also provided helpful suggestions to enhance local unit visibility and identity within their school communities. All in all, the many CAS local unit presidents and executive board members who attended the workshops left with helpful guidance and as practical suggestions for strengthening unit effectiveness.
Please read the CAS brochure on the Value of Union Membership. It contains crucial and timely information about major legal developments affecting all public employees.
April 12, 2018
April 8, 2018
GOVERNOR CUOMO AND
LEGISLATURE ENACT BILL TO END MYTH
THAT “FREELOADERS” WILL GET SAME
SERVICES AS DUES PAYING UNION MEMBERS
As you are undoubtedly aware, we are awaiting the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFCSME, which is expected to strike down the agency shop fee applicable to public sector unions. This litigation is part of a well-funded effort by the Koch brothers and other political donors to destroy public sector unions and undermine public education.
One of the myths spread by these groups has been that, even if someone opts out of his/her union and refuses to pay union dues, that person will continue to receive all the benefits afforded to paying members, i.e. that non-payers will be able to “freeload” off of paying members. The Governor and Legislature have unequivocally debunked that myth by enacting a new set of laws last week.
It is clear now in New York that those who don’t pay union dues do not get the critically important services that members receive. The new law specifically states that anyone who does not pay dues does not receive union representation or legal services, among other areas:
► during questioning (i.e. Weingarten Rights) by the school district, State Education Department, other agencies even if the employee is the subject of the investigation;
► in 3020-a hearings, Section 75 hearings, or Part 83 hearings which could result in termination of tenured employees and/or the loss of professional license(s);
► in any proceeding to enforce an educator’s statutory or administrative rights, including court proceedings to enforce tenure, excessing and recall rights;
► in any proceeding before the Commissioner of Education;
► in any PERB actions;
► in any disputes with the NYSTRS which could impact or reduce a public employee’s pension; and
► at any stage of a contractual grievance concerning evaluation or discipline where the contract allows the non-member to proceed without the employee organization and be represented by his/her own advocate.
In sum, New York State has made the right decision, protecting the integrity and strength of New York unions. It is now perfectly clear that non-members will receive bare minimum benefits and will lose the vast majority of the protections afforded to them by their associations.
The goal of the enemies of collective bargaining was to convince members to drop their union memberships, leading to the dissolution of unions and elimination of collective bargaining entirely, thus allowing public employers to unilaterally set salaries and benefits. They are doing this for their own political ends and not out of concern for workers’ biweekly union contributions. We see the effect of “right to work” as we watch teachers strike in states like West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. We simply cannot be fooled by false slogans such as “right to work.” Giving up the salaries, benefits, and protections members get for the minimal cost of their dues simply makes no sense.
CAS knows that our members are too smart to allow the gains of prior generations to be cast aside and erased. And we hope, in light of the new law, that all public sector unions remain committed to retaining 100% of their membership, notwithstanding the decision in Janus.