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HomeIllinois NewsPublic employees are starting to assert their rights under Janus

Public employees are starting to assert their rights under Janus

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The Buckeye Institute has helped two teachers opt-out of union membership:

The Buckeye Institute is representing Boyd Bradbury, a professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead, who was a full member of the Inter Faculty Organization; and Jonathan Reisman, an associate professor of economics at the University of Maine at Machias who served as the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine’s grievance officer.

Professor Bradbury’s union previously required its members to submit written opt-out notices via mail postmarked no earlier than April 1 and no later than June 15, which would then take effect the following July. Under this pre-Janus process, its members would not have been permitted to begin leaving their union until that specified window opened in 2019. However, after The Buckeye Institute issued a demand letter to Professor Bradbury’s union based upon the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the union recognized Professor Bradbury’s right to immediate release from membership and from paying dues.

Similarly, Professor Reisman’s union has a designated opt-out window of August 15 to September 15 in any given year, but after The Buckeye Institute issued a demand letter on his behalf, the union recognized Professor Reisman’s right to immediately resign his union membership and stop the dues extractions before that opt-out window opened next month.

Robert Alt concluded: “Unions must do better in complying with the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus. Our clients should not have needed to send a demand letter to secure their rights.  After Janus, public-sector unions should seek affirmative consent from their members—an ‘opt-in’—before any further dues or fees are taken by the union.”

[“The Buckeye Institute Wins First Major Post-Janus Victories for Public Employees,” The Buckeye Institute, July 26]

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