Tag Archives: Janus vs AFSCME

Janus vs AFSCME: Reform California to hold workshop for public employees who want their union dues back

26 Dec

Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled on a case brought about by a public employee who didn’t want to be a union member or pay union “fees“. In Janus vs the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the court ruled, “Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable raises serious First Amendment concerns. That includes compelling individuals to subsidize the speech of other private speakers.”

In fact, non-members who have paid “fees” are eligible for rebates of at least some of their money – as much as 78% of member dues, for the privilege of having a job. According to Reform California, ” many of our friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family are eligible for an average rebate of $800 this year alone!”

The law supposedly restricted these “fees” from being used for political purposes, but given our own city clerk’s abysmal record of holding these PACs up to the rules, I’ll guess there’s never been any audit of how they are really collected or spent. Not in Chico, or Butte County, that’s for sure. 

Reform California and the California Policy Center are hosting a workshop to help non-union employees who have been ripped off for these “fees” to get their rebates. Get more information about that here:

https://reformcalifornia.org/event/briefing-helping-friends-get-their-union-dues-refunds/

 

Read more about the Supreme Court decision here:

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-1466_2b3j.pdf

Janus vs AFSCME – “the worker bees” are rising against their oppressors! Go bees!

27 Feb

Yesterday the Supreme Court was scheduled to take up the case of Janus vs AFSCME ( American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees). The center of this case is what unions call “fair share fees” – fees conscripted from workers who do not wish to be members of a union. This practice (which reminds me of the kid who positions himself on a corner near the school and bullies others out of their lunch money) is protected by “collective bargaining agreement”.  Both the city of Chico and the county of Butte have made such an agreement with the unions. This is what used to be referred to as a “closed shop” so a lot of proponents of Janus vs AFSCME are calling for “right to work” legislation.

The plaintiff in the case, an Illinois public employee named Mark Janus, does not want  to pay into the unions. According to  CBS News, “Janus has painted his complaint as a free speech issue. ‘I’m definitely not anti-union. Unions have their place and many people like them… I was never given a choice…'”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-case-that-could-change-the-face-of-unions-comes-to-supreme-court/

The media is warping this issue – journalism isn’t what it used to be. Notice the use of the word “painted“, as though Janus is being deceptive. That’s not news, it’s opinion. The appropriate way to say it would have been, “Janus says…” or even “Janus claims…”,  but the use of the word “painted” is obvious slant. In the past week I don’t think I’ve seen or heard one straight news story on this issue. Today I added a category to the blog – “Our News Media Sucks”.

Opponents say  the case “could fundamentally change the workplace for public employees nationwide. A court ruling against the union, an outcome many believe likely, could seriously dent public unions’ coffers by depriving them of a major source of these so-called ‘fair share’ fees.”   Yeah, unions are scared, because “Without fair-share fees, many unions could lose a large share of their funding. Across the border from Illinois, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 enjoys an overwhelming 83 percent support among covered workers — but only 29 percent of those workers are dues-paying members.”

What does that say to you? People are forced to pay, but still won’t join? Won’t add their voice? Why?

When my father was forced to pay union dues to get jobs as owner/operator of his 18-wheeler, he was very bitter, saying they took more than he spent on gas, tires, and other maintenance. He had it worked out to the per hour charge, it pissed him off so much. We’d ask him what the union did for him, and he said that was the joke – his employers were mostly small businessmen, friends of his, he didn’t need a union. But, highway construction is publicly financed, and the state required them to pay union dues.

Years after my dad died, Teamsters forced the company for whom he had worked many years out of business.  Here’s a related story – Teamsters bragging about putting employers out of business.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-port-trucker-settlement-20160714-snap-story.html

Again the slant is pro-union – “the latest victory,” as though private business and the jobs it creates are bad for California.  My dad drove  truck for nearly 50 years, and he never complained about his employers in front of us kids, neither did his co-workers, but they bitched about Teamsters over lunch, over beers, even over their CB radios. 

Remembering those days in the cab of my dad’s Peterbilt, it offends me  that some of these public employees even describe themselves as “workers”.  Soft-handed pussies.

Here’s a very interesting point: “The result of weaker unions is often less money for workers — whether unionized or not. After Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker restricted public-employee unions in the state, the rate of unionization fell by 6 percentage points and teachers’ salaries dropped by an average of $10,000. “

And they’re saying, that’s bad? Cause I’m saying, public employees have been overcompensated for the last 10 or more years, and it’s driving the economy into the dirt. If getting rid of collective bargaining and “fair share” theft is what we need to do to get rid of these over-fed blue jays, then let’s go for it!

The unions are trying to tell us this is bad for “workers” when it’s ” workers” who are pulling the rug out from under them.