Union files appeal against dues collection ruling

A key labor-management panel this month has ruled against federal employee unions on dues collection practice—and the union clawback against the move has begun.

The Federal Labor Relations Authority in a 2-to-1 decision—expanding on what the majority sees as the legal logic of the Supreme Court’s 2018 union-hindering Janus decision—has determined that a four-decades-old practice must be ended.

The standard practice since the early 1980s has been that if an employee wanted to stop paying dues, they could only effect such a change annually. Under the new FLRA decision, an employee’s decision to cease payments can be applied immediately.

The National Treasury Employees Union nearly immediately announced that it was filing suit against the FLRA decision—and, in an emailed news release, called the decision part of the administration’s “ongoing effort to try to weaken federal employee unions.”

“There is only one reason to change one-year dues collection agreements and that is to try and harm unions,” Tony Reardon, president of NTEU, said in the union’s release. “This action reveals in stark terms just how determined the administration is to roll back the rights and benefits of federal employees.”

The administration has tried to characterize its efforts to change labor-management practices as improvements, but federal unions see the real aim as undermining feds and their rights—with the current annual revocation period being something NTEU says has “worked well for decades.”

“The administration’s concern about the full exercise of employee rights is especially galling because this administration has done nothing but attack federal employees – their pay, their benefits, their due process rights and their dedication to their jobs,” Reardon said. “Unions and our allies in Congress are the only ones blocking the administration from doing further damage to the federal workforce, which is exactly why they are targeting us.”

Reader comments

Wed, Feb 26, 2020

The union for federal workers is a paper tiger with no teeth. They can't negotiate pay raises or strike & making you pay dues until your anniversary date is armed robbery. They only want the dues money and want you to vote for who they endorse & they have no other use for you.

Tue, Feb 25, 2020

The only way the unions can have the clout with politicians so they can help protect the workers if they get money. The only way to get money is to make sure the workers pay dues. All workers benefit from the union. All. So all should have to pay.

Tue, Feb 25, 2020

Union is the reason for your nice salary.always remain a dues paying member.wake up

Mon, Feb 24, 2020

So happy to see this. I was refused to be let out of the union during a time in my life (divorce) when I was struggling to provide for my children and needed to cut back as much as possible. I shared directly with the pres of the union at the time of my request to be let out early that the dues were taking food off my table to my children - her answer was still no. After being made to wait until my anniversary date I refused to ever join again. The union greed caused that - not a decision made by "administration".

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