State petitions Supreme Court to enforce Janus’ free speech ruling

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The Dunleavy Administration has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the First Amendment rights of state employees, calling for greater protection of free speech rights within the workplace, as it pertains to forced dues to unions that use the money for political campaigns.

Attorney General Treg Taylor is spearheading this effort, citing concerns over current Alaska law’s compliance with the landmark 2018 Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31. This ruling established that states cannot compel public employees to financially support union speech with which they disagree.

According to the state’s legal filing, Alaska state law appears to contradict the principles outlined in Janus by mandating the State to forcibly take union dues from employees’ paychecks based solely on written authorizations received from the union.

The automatic deduction from workers’ paycheck raises questions about employees’ awareness of their rights and whether they have knowingly consented to such deductions. Furthermore, the state is required to continue these deductions even after an employee requests a cessation.

“Across the country, states will deduct dues simply because the union asserts that it has the employees’ authorization,” Taylor said.

Instances of unions compelling non-consenting employees to contribute dues have emerged since the Janus ruling. For example, in one case, over 5,000 individuals in the State of Washington were forced to pay dues despite explicit objections to union membership.

“Before we take any money from the paychecks of state employees, we need to ensure that the employees were properly advised of their rights and consented to the deduction,” Dunleavy said. “And if employees disagree with union speech, they need to be given an opportunity to opt out. Our payroll system does not adequately protect the constitutional rights of our employees and changes must be made.”

This move by the State of Alaska to seek Supreme Court intervention marks another chapter in the ongoing debate surrounding the rights of state employees and the application of Janus principles.

11 COMMENTS

  1. L302 takes an additional $5 per month specifically for political activism even if you disagree with their political views.

    • Incorrect. The PAC donation requires consent and is separate from the signature requirement for representation.

  2. Unions are thugs and crooks!!! I speak from experience!!! They steel from people that don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of!

  3. Isn’t State Senator Click Bishop one of the guys who supported the right of the union to support their communist views over the membership?
    Check the records. Bishop was a L302 boss.

  4. You will pay. You will like it. We will console you if you disagree. Maybe you are not safe and have accident. We do not wish this.

  5. Wow, the State can’t even pay people correctly. Now Dunleavy thinks this is the most important agenda item. When several State agencies are 20-40% shorthanded, we are wasting money and time on the BS. Unfortunately, we have three more of this coming down the pike.

  6. When i became a state employee, i opted out from the start. I do not believe in unions politics and i refused to contribute a penny, they are supposed to work for us, not for their own benefit.
    The state should stop ALL UNION automatic dues payroll processing entirely and let the employee write a check. I am sure there is a huge cost savings to the state (maybe millions) in stopping being responsible for the paperwork and all that it means for the state to handle this.
    Dunkeavy, take it one step further, stop processing union dues. Make the unions chase the money, maybe they will make wiser choices as to how to spend it.

    • Careful what you wish for Molly. I would worry more about your paycheck then your political identity. It’s easy to opt out of the political contribution if you see the need, but one needs only to look at their state position in a right to work state to realize the dissolution of their public employees union would not be in their best financial interest. This anti union agenda has been pushed hard by groups like AFP, funded by billionaires looking out for the little guys. Don’t be so gullible, a little research into right to work State wages exposes this bs as the garbage it is. With all the issues in this state it’s pretty disappointing to see our Governor spending money on a nonissue.

      • The public education is strong with this one ^

        No one’s talking about getting rid of the unions. Reading comprehension is hard, though.

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