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How Today’s SCOTUS Decision on Unions Could Help CT Fix the Debt

June 27, 2018 By Staff
How Today’s SCOTUS Decision on Unions Could Help CT Fix the Debt

The Supreme Court ruled that public-sector unions cannot force non-members to pay fees. If that limits the power of unions in Connecticut, it could help the state's fiscal situation.

On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court issued perhaps its most highly-anticipated decision of the year, on Janus v. AFSCME.

According to Axios, the Court ruled 5-4 that public-sector unions “cannot collect fees from non-members.”

The court struck down so-called “agency fees” that unions collect from non-members.

Those fees can only be used for collective bargaining, not overtly political activity. The rationale is that everyone in a workplace benefits from union negotiations over things like salary and time off, so everyone should contribute.

But critics say that because these unions are bargaining with the government, their bargaining is inherently political. The Supreme Court agreed with that position today.

One group in Connecticut that is celebrating the ruling today is the Yankee Institute. They’ve been writing about the case frequently, and shared a Reclaim Connecticut article on the case back in March.

Our write-up noted that a decision in favor of non-union members, which the Court made on Wednesday, would leave less power to public-sector unions in Connecticut, potentially allowing the state more room to get its fiscal house in order.

If the court rules that unions cannot charge non-union members fees, money will leave unions’ coffers all across the nation, including in Connecticut.

Less money equals less power for state unions, some of which have a chokehold on Connecticut taxpayer dollars by continuing to negotiate generous benefits and pensions for state employees.

Of course, unions still have political power in Connecticut. The speaker of the House is an AFSCME employee. But in terms of fixing Connecticut’s long-term obligations, the Court’s ruling is a step in the right direction for advocates of fiscal responsibility.