Union files appeal against dues collection ruling
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Feb 20, 2020
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.”