Brothers and Sisters,
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a decision that affects union rights in state and local governments. Although this decision does not affect NATCA, our members, or federal sector employees directly, it further erodes union rights and weakens our collective strength, as well as the ability of unions to protect and defend working people throughout the country. This decision was not unexpected and we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who represent state and local government employees throughout the country. We know that unions sustain our families and strengthen our communities.
Today's decision in Janus overturned over four decades of Supreme Court precedent. The Court held that unions representing state and local government employees may not charge a fair share fee (or "agency fee") to non-members for collective bargaining representation even though those unions have a duty to represent all bargaining unit employees regardless of union membership. These unions already were prohibited from charging fees to non-members for expenditures related to internal union business, organizing, and political and ideological projects.
In anticipation of this decision, anti-union advocacy groups already have launched well-funded campaigns encouraging members to drop their membership and become free riders. Although NATCA always has had the duty to represent bargaining unit employees who do not become members nor contribute to their own representation in the federal sector, this is a drastic change for state and local government employee unions who will directly and immediately feel the effects of this decision. We join our union brothers and sisters to take up the fight to protect working people from those who would seek to fracture, split, and divide us. Make no mistake, NATCA stands with all of our union brothers and sisters in the labor movement, today and forever.
Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Trish Gilbert, NATCA Executive Vice President