Thursday, June 15, 2017

Gov. Brown, Democrats to require school districts to give greater access to unions | EdSource

Gov. Brown, Democrats to require school districts to give greater access to unions | EdSource:

Gov. Brown, Democrats to require school districts to give greater access to unions

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Public employee unions worried about a potential hemorrhage of dues-paying members are getting help from Gov. Jerry Brown.
The governor and Democratic leaders in the Legislature agreed to include language in the 2017-18 state budget that will require school districts, cities and other government agencies to give their employee unions regular opportunities to meet and sign up new workers.
The Democrat-controlled Legislature is expected to pass the language, which is included in Senate Bill 204 and Assembly Bill 119, two of the budget “trailer” bills, on Thursday (see Section 2, starting 3555). It would require government agencies to negotiate the details of when, where and how unions could have access to recruit new employees; and to provide job titles and contact information for all employees at least every 120 days.
Public unions see the new requirement as one strategy they’ll need to stave off a decline in members if, as anticipated, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that public workers don’t have to pay the unions’ cost of negotiating contracts on employees’ behalf and representing them on issues related to working conditions, wages and benefits.
A majority of the Supreme Court was poised to take that action last year in Friedrichs v. the California Teachers Association, a lawsuit filed by 10 California teachers who challenged the constitutionality of mandatory “agency” or “fair share” fees. But the court split 4-4 after Justice Antonin Scalia died in early 2016, leaving the case up in the air.
Now, a similar case out of Illinois, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, which could decide to hear it as early as next fall. Unions are all but resigned that President Donald Trump’s first appointee to the court, Neil Gorsuch, will be the fifth vote to reverse the court’s earlier decision allowing agency fees. In that 1977 ruling, the court said agency fees were permissible in order to avoid “free riders” – union Gov. Brown, Democrats to require school districts to give greater access to unions | EdSource:

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