FORCED UNIONISM WILL BE TOPIC OF LAWSUIT
Several state employees have asked the State of Alaska to stop deducting union dues from their paychecks.
Their requests were in response to the recent decision by the Attorney General that the State’s current practices relating to collection of union dues are not in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision known as Janus.
The Department of Administration notified the public employee union Alaska State Employee Association, advising that the State would halt deductions for these employees.
ASEA, representing the general government bargaining unit, threatened litigation if the Department of Administration did not continue to collect the dues on behalf of the union, according to a press release from the Department of Law.
To ensure employees’ First Amendment rights are honored, Attorney General Kevin Clarkson filed a lawsuit Monday, asking the court to confirm that the Department of Administration, when directed by an individual employee, should stop deducting the dues from that employee’s paychecks.
“The Supreme Court made it clear in Janus that public employees have the freedom to pay union dues or not,” said Clarkson. “Janus also requires that the State have clear and compelling evidence of a state employee’s choice to pay union dues. If the State receives a direct request to stop paying union dues, the State must honor that request or else it would be violating the employee’s First Amendment right.
“Because we want to make sure we are acting in compliance with the Constitution, we are asking the court to confirm the State’s actions in halting dues deductions when directly requested by an employee,” he said.
Under the prior administration, DOA had sent employees back to the unions to make a request to stop union dues deductions, Clarkson said.