Janus: State heads to court over collecting union dues - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, December 10, 2019
HomePoliticsJanus: State heads to court over collecting union dues

Janus: State heads to court over collecting union dues

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. 

[Read: State putting guardrails on collection of union dues]

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.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Wait until one of those employees is treated badly by their agency and needs to file a grievance for an unfair labor practice.

  • I am sure that the five clowns of the Alaska Supreme Court circus will screw this up too.
    In my case S-16877, they agreed that Judge Jennifer Wells issued an unlawful order but all five together couldn’t figure out how to get it off the record so they ASSIGNED it to a STAFF attorney to figure out.

    Let that sink in for a minute.

  • When the union leaders are lib wacko unalaskan haters from Portland etc. most hard working Alaskan union members don’t want their dues going to wacko lib agendas!

  • I always hated it when I would receive the union magazine in the mail (which never made it past the post office), knowing my dues were supporting political candidates/actions that I did not agree with. I, and several others, found it difficult to voice disapproval when surrounded by aggressive pro-union people who often loudly vocalized their positions.

    • Exactly! When I asked for a breakdown of how my dues were being spent, I received “um, well, I will have to get back to you on that”. And then, nothing.

  • While the State is seeking clarity on this issue, it may be a long time in coming. Alaska’s judiciary is almost uniformly Left-leaning and the State Supreme Court is not likely to do the Governor any favors. Final resolution if this matter may need to come from the federal courts.

  • Joining a union should be by choice.

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