State workers sue union over forced union dues - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, August 7, 2020
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State workers sue union over forced union dues

Two Alaska state employees filed a lawsuit against the State of Alaska and the Alaska State Employees Association today for forcing them to pay union dues against their will.

According to the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court ruling, union dues cannot be deducted from state employees’ paychecks without their “affirmative consent.”

Linda Creed, an environmental health technician for the Department of Environmental Conservation, opted out of her union, only to be put back in after a court restraining order was placed on the Dunleavy Administration. Since then, she has been paying union dues without her consent.

Tyler Riberio, an environmental impact analyst at the Department of Transportation, also opted out, only to be put back in.

Background: In fall 2019, Alaska administration issued an order to ensure no government employee was forced to pay union dues against their will.

But within weeks, the matter was tied up in state court and the Administration’s efforts to defend workers’ First Amendment rights and to implement the Supreme Court Janus ruling were halted.

Creed and Riberio brought their lawsuit with help from the Alaska Policy Forum and the Liberty Justice Center, the nonprofit law firm behind the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME.

Click here to see the copy of the case.

Click here to see Complaint Exhibits A through D.

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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

  • I remember having to pay union dues as a part-time seasonal employee when I was on summer break from college, and of course, earning money to pay for college. There was no way out of it and the union took a cut of each and every paycheck. I’m glad to see options for those who do not want to pay dues.

  • But State employee unions are above the law!

  • Outstanding news, thanks for reporting this, Suzanne.

  • Funding unions is the same as funding Socialism (Communism).

  • Why isn’t the ACLU on the side of the 2? Civil liberties right?

    • Because they’re in bed with the unions!

  • I would have also sued the Judge who approved the restraining order. They are in direct violation of a SCOTUS decision and as such the Judge must be disbarred. What is the name so we can make sure this Judge is not retained.

  • They must be allowed to free-load off of the work of the union. They want union salary and benefits, union representation all for free! Break the unions lets put children back to work!

    • Total BS. Union workers help swell the union treasuries so that corrupt union bosses and their minions get ALL the big salaries, benefits, and power in the unions…..including the power to blackball the members that they don’t like. And unions would have everyone believe that they are for the little working guys and gals. Corruption knows no bounds within the unions.

    • Houston, we’ve found the union lackey.

      Why do they always jump to the “child worker” schtick?

      • Hillary Clinton used this hypocritical method when she served as Prez from 92-00, while her husband was getting serviced by young gals. It’s always about the young people and the children for Democrats. Then, abuse them and exploit them. btw, anybody seen old Byron Mallott lately.? Still banished to his teepee on Douglas Island?

  • I too was a ADF&G seasonal state employee in the early 70’s. The sport fish biologists I was working for informed me that most of if not all my first paycheck would be going to union dues. At that time, the union wanted to get it’s money up front, even from a young college student. The biologists didn’t like the union’s mandatory dues requirement either.

  • Private unions are OK but the public unions just steel from the tax payer and the union employee. We have no choice to not use the public unions but the private unions we do not have to work with if we want. Why cannot the state just say no to contracts with the no good state unions and farm out the work to private company’s?

    • Mark, the private union’s will steal from the membership just as blatently as the public unions do. Federal oversite of private union’s needs to be revisited and LMRDA needs stronger guidelines.

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