Posts tagged Public Sector
Special Legal Notice to Private-Sector Workers in Michigan
March 27, 2023 // Michigan’s legislative majority and current Governor are unfortunately repealing Michigan’s Right to Work law which granted most private-sector workers a right to not join or pay monies to unions they oppose. This special notice is intended to inform Michigan workers who are employed by private companies, other than in the airline and railroad industries, of their rights after the repeal of the Right to Work law takes effect ninety days after the current legislative session ends.* In short, after the repeal statute takes effect, it will be legal under Michigan law for private-sector employers and unions to enter into agreements that compel workers to pay fees to unions as a condition of employment. However, under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) workers subject to these forced fee arrangements cannot lawfully be compelled to be actual union members or pay full union dues to keep their jobs
Video: ALEC’s Labor of Love: A History of Championing Worker Freedom
March 10, 2023 // Today, ALEC debuts its first episode, “Worker Freedom,” in our 50th anniversary video series. The episode features ALEC champions Scott Walker (45th Governor of Wisconsin), Matt Hall (Michigan House Minority Leader and ALEC Board of Directors Member), and Vinnie Vernuccio (Senior Fellow, Mackinac Center), discussing ALEC’s pivotal role in securing Worker Freedom policy wins across the states. In some states, private sector workers can be forced to join, leave, or pay fees to a union as job requirement. The Right-to-Work Act, which ALEC task forces approved as a model policy, provides a solution to this issue. It prevents private employers from requiring or banning union membership (or fees) as conditions for employment, giving workers in Right-to-Work states a guaranteed right to support a union or not to support a union without this choice affecting their hiring or job security.
Opinion: Florida Bill Would Make Government Unions More Transparent, Accountable
March 9, 2023 // The “Paycheck Protection Bill” includes language that would, among other things: prevent the state from deducting dues on behalf of unions from public employees’ paychecks, forcing unions to do their own billing and collections; require audits of unions representing public employees; require union membership cards to include wording echoing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which recognized the right of public employees to decline union membership, dues, and fees with no loss of representation or benefits; and, perhaps most significantly, the bill establishes a new threshold and closes some unintended loopholes in a 2018 law that forces certification elections in situations where more than half of the bargaining unit has refused to support the union. These elections allow all employees who are represented by the union an opportunity to vote on whether the union will be allowed to continue representing them.
Michigan House votes to repeal Right-to-Work, restore prevailing wage
March 9, 2023 // The legislation, now headed to the Senate for final votes as early as next week, would end a 2012 law that prohibits compulsory union dues or fees. The House also voted to restore a construction-industry “prevailing wage” law the GOP repealed in 2018. Democrats touted the union-backed measure as a restoration of worker rights to collectively bargain for wages, benefits and workplace safety. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supports the repeal, but in the past has blasted GOP efforts to make policy bills referendum-proof by including appropriations, decrying it as a form of legislative "abuse."
New York’s biggest labor actions of the past year
February 28, 2023 // Only one other state, Hawaii, has a unionization rate higher than New York’s 20.7%. In the public sector, just around two-thirds of New Yorkers are in a union. In 2022 alone, nearly 200 workplaces in the state filed for representation through the National Labor Relations Board. But, despite the hype and a 57-year high in Americans’ approval of labor unions, New York’s union participation (and the country’s as a whole) is still trending downward. In 2012, 23.2% of New York workers were union members, 2.5 points higher than it is today. CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Labor Department Chair Ruth Milkman said that despite 2022’s historic union victories, many were with small firms. “So all this publicity and media attention to these iconic companies that have had some recent experience of successful unionization, it’s kind of a drop in the bucket in terms of the whole labor market in New York,” she said.
Opinion | Repealing Right-to-Work is a bad deal for Michigan autoworkers
February 3, 2023 // Michigan’s Right-to-Work law now only covers workers in the private sector. In Janus v. AFSCME, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of workers. Now all public-sector workers in the United States have their right to work guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Michigan cannot change that decision, so our Right-to-Work law only covers workers in the private sector. Do Michigan’s private-sector workers somehow deserve less freedom and protection than people who work for the government? Of course, the answer is no. We deserve those same rights, but Lansing politicians want to steal them away from us.
The Unionization Rate Went, Uh, Down?
January 26, 2023 // Meanwhile, unionization in the private sector is 6.0 percent (down from 6.1 percent in 2021). Perhaps this is because median weekly earnings among union members rose $47 in 2002, compared to a rise of $54 among non-union workers. This is the latest year in a declining union earnings premium that reached as much as 30 percent in 2007 but was just over 18 percent in 2022
Fairfax Co. first responders vote to unionize for the first time in 40 years
November 22, 2022 // Firefighters and paramedics in Fairfax County, Virginia, became the first group in 40 years to unionize Friday, after members totaled more than 3,300 24-hour days of mandatory overtime in just one calendar year. The vote was announced by the union in a press release, stating that the roughly 1,500 emergency personnel would be the first public sector employees in over four decades to enter a collective bargaining agreement. Until 2021, employees in the public sector couldn’t legally unionize. That changed in Fairfax County in early 2022, when the jurisdiction passed an ordinance that allowed state employees to collectively bargain.
Sacramento-area Pine Creek Care Center Nurses Overwhelmingly Vote to Oust Unwanted Teamsters Union
September 23, 2022 // Federal labor board data show that workers across the country are increasingly likely to be involved in efforts to remove unions from workplaces Just a month before Chand and her colleagues’ successful decertification vote, Foundation attorneys aided nurses at Mayo Clinic in Mankato, Minnesota, in their successful effort to throw out the unpopular Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) union from their workplace. About the same time, nurses from the St. James, Minnesota, branch of Mayo Clinic voted to decertify American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 65 union officials by a nearly 9-to-1 margin, also with Foundation legal assistance.
Ohio: State of the Labor Unions
September 6, 2022 // The union membership rate in 2021 of public-sector workers (33.9%) continued to be more than five times higher than the rate of private-sector workers (6.1%). The highest unionization rates were among workers in education, training, and library occupations (34.6%) and protective service occupations (33.3%).