Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Attorney General issues advisory; 

Public sector workers’ rights and employer obligations in wake of Janus ruling

In response to the June 27 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey issued an advisory regarding public sector workers’ rights and employer obligations.
 
Under the Janus decision, public sector unions may no longer charge agency fees to employees who are not union members, and public sector employers may no longer deduct agency fees from a nonmember’s wages without the clear and affirmative consent of the nonmember employee.
 
Municipalities are advised to consult with legal counsel to immediately stop payroll deductions for the non-union members of all bargaining units, and to notify the representatives of all bargaining units of the intention to comply with the Janus decision.
 
The attorney general’s advisory affirms the collective bargaining rights of public sector employees under Chapter 150E, explains the impact of the Janus decision on union dues and agency fees, and reminds readers of the procedures for access to union members and personal information in the public sector.


On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, (Janus decision). The following is a Question and Answer (Q&A) created by the Department of Labor Relations (DLR) in order to assist those affected by the decision. This Q&A reflects the state of the law as of the issuance of the Janus decision. The statements and opinions expressed below represent the best judgment of the DLR at the current time. Not all of the issues, however, are fully resolved yet. The materials below do not carry the force of law and are not meant to be a substitute for your own legal counsel’s advice. If you are unsure of your rights and obligations under the law or collective bargaining agreement, and or need further clarification regarding any of these answers, legal advice should be sought.
1. What does the Janus decision mean for public sector employees in Massachusetts?
The Janus decision makes it unlawful for public sector employers or unions to require that an employee who is not a voluntary dues paying union member to pay an agency fee to a union as a condition of obtaining employment or continued employment. This means that neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to such a payment. Under the Janus decision, agency shop arrangements contained in collective bargaining agreements are invalidated.
2. What is an agency fee?
An agency fee is a sum of money that an employee who chooses not to be a dues-paying member of a union pays to a union for activities related to the union’s obligations as collective bargaining representative, such as negotiating contracts and representing employees in grievances and arbitrations. Previously, under M.G.L. c. 150E, § 12, it was lawful to require payment of an agency fee as a condition of employment pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. Janus holds that agency fees may only be deducted from employees who affirmatively consent to pay them.

37 comments:

  1. ““fails to reckon with how economically rational actors behave.” She argues that the majority ignores the basic fact that public-sector unions must represent all workers in a workplace, in contrast to private groups that can choose to represent only those who actively opt-in. ” Dissenting

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    1. So, they are still taking money from people who have quality work ethics and don't need to have "protection" from a money grabbing union. Unions have ruined workplaces, they are there to help the workers who say "what can I take that I don't deserve or work for from this company" it's part of the "Entitlement" issue so popular today

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  2. “ Protection “ - wages , health ins , disability ( great help of you have say cancer , MS or a stroke say ) . Glad to know Ordinary R ( great name what’s the R stand for ? ) how you feel about Police / Fire - Nurses .. list of people that are “ protected “ go on and on . The Postal Workers ... oh ya and the STATE workers like the Templeton Dev Center and MCC Gardner ... The people that brought about the middle class in this country.

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  3. Love that most of the people that complain about unions - benifit and benifited from them directly around Templeton. #hypocrites

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  4. Public Employees unions 7.9 million people. Private sector unions 7.4 million people as of 2009 more public employees belong to unions than private sector employees.

    Massachusetts pensions as of 2013 were funded to 60.6 %. Urban Institute singles out Massachusetts police and fire employees as having the worst plans in the country. All this while having Union representation.

    Private Sector Unions brought fairness to the worker. Public employee Unions rip off taxpayers, create prevailing wage requirements on taxpayer paid projects even though these taxpayer likely dont have same protections.

    Public employee unions should be outlawed!

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  5. Bob is angry. ( again )

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  6. Please provide a link to your statistics it helpful for those of us following along to their credulity.

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  7. Maybe you should GOOGLE up to date or do you always GOOGLE 2013?

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  8. BoB M comments ( from GOOGLE ) about police & Fire having the worst ) ... not sure if that’s an argument for a stronger union or a weaker municipality. Having the right ...to bargain collectively does not guarantee outcomes sought by workers and their unions. Nor, Bob M — does it mean that cost savings cannot be achieved. Rather workers' representatives and representatives of employers, whether public or private, have a right to bargain hard for their interests....

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  9. Random person Justsmartenuff keeps telling everyone we are wrong and they are right........proof?I'm sure you Can document savings to taxpayer by Public Unions, right? Proof or are you just sucking up pay on the Union dime.

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  10. Can’t support your own “ Google “ information so you make a strawman argument about saving money for taxpayers. Taxpayers BOb M are also Union workers I assume who because of a wage that averages $4.00 per hour can AFFORD to support towns and have nice things like a FD, POLICE , EMS .,, etc https://www.umass.edu/lrrc/sites/default/files/UMass_Labor_Day_Report_8-25-17.pdf

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  11. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

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  12. --The union membership rate of public-sector workers (34.4 percent)
    continued to be more than five times higher than that of private-
    sector workers (6.5 percent). (See table 3.)

    --Workers in protective service occupations and in education, training,
    and library occupations had the highest unionization rates (34.7
    percent and 33.5 percent, respectively). (See table 3.)

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  13. Within the public sector, the union
    membership rate was highest in local government (40.1 percent), which employs many
    workers in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and
    firefighters. Private-sector industries with high unionization rates included utilities
    (23.0 percent),

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  14. Labor unions officially obtained the right to represent employees under the law when the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was passed in 1935. It guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize trade unions, engage in collective bargaining, and enjoy other rights including striking if necessary.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The term "employer" includes any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, but shall not include the United States or any wholly owned Government corporation, or any Federal Reserve Bank, or any State or political subdivision thereof, or any person subject to the Railway Labor Act [45 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.], as amended from time to time, or any labor organization (other than when acting as an employer), or anyone acting in the capacity of officer or agent of such labor organization.

    --------------------------------

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  15. Nothing in any of the original intent of Union says government employees are eligible. Why, because they were never weren't considered in need. Now its upside down.

    Unions fit more comfortably into government workplaces than the private sector. Government employees are used to bureaucracy that does little to reward individual initiative. And the government faces no competition.

    The state of Massachusetts won't go bankrupt, no matter how much public-sector unions ask for in wages. The state can just raise taxes on everyone else. It's no accident that the typical government employee earns substantially more than an equivalently skilled private-sector worker. Whether it is fair that government unions push for higher taxes to pay their inflated salaries is another question.

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  16. Look at the MA AFL-CIO..........This is the abridged "what we are about"

    The role of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO is to serve as the unified voice of all organized workers in the Commonwealth and to be a voice for all working people, those in unions and those not yet organized. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families—by working for economic, social and racial justice in the workplace, in our communities, our state and in our nation. Our vision is of a fair and just society that benefits all working people, not a system that’s rigged in favor of the wealthy few.



    This is what they promote themselves as doing and having done.........

    Recently, in Massachusetts, Organized Labor has won:
    Minimum Wage Raise (From $8 to $11)
    Earned Sick Time Legislation
    Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
    Workplace Protections for State Employees
    Defeating corporate money / influence and harmful legislation in Massachusetts - most recently, Save Our Public Schools Campaign
    What Labor & Our Allies are Fighting for Right Now:

    Fight for $15 (Minimum Wage Legislation)
    Wage Theft Legislation
    Expanding Workplace Protections for State Employees





    Notice how STATE EMPLOYEES are on both lists..........those poor underpaid, overworked people with absolutely lousy benefits............







    PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Oh , the HORROR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Explanation points don’t make you more convincing Bob M!
    You know anyone who worked for the Templeton Developmental Center ? I bet you may ... ask them about their pensions and health insurance ask if they are glad they have it .

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  18. Who in town don’t you like Bob M for getting union wages ? You like the Police dept I suppose .. maybe who knows really that’s why I ask. Great to rail against public union personal on an internet screen not so much when you were in front of a camera for the town.

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  19. I see Justsmartenuff is on here again being a smartass but looks more like a jackass

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  20. thanks for the critique TAB MAN ( great name by the way )

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  21. I always been opposed to Public Employee Unions............They are abusive to the taxpayer, period.

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  22. Yes I heard you say that over and over during the HOURS of staring at the table whist on the FINANCE/ADVISORY board/committee - hours and hours of a waste of electricity and heat sitting there with the others. FAIL

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  23. Remember to go to the Mac & Cheese Festival and support our community in a positive way. Showing compassion and empathy for our elders. Thankyou

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    1. How much money does the Mac and Cheese festival raise for the Senior Center? C'mon, show us you know what your talking about or are you just blindly promoting.............

      How does the Make and Cheese festival support or "show compassion and empathy " for elders?????

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    2. Dear BoB I hate the town M ,
      Why don’t you ask the person who runs the senior center ? Or perhaps you should have asked during you extensive silences when the budget was being discussed in front of the senior center staff.

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    3. You said the Mmac and Cheese fest supports our elders. I asked for proof. You provided nothing.............typical


      The Mac and Cheese fest is not a town event. It's not a budget item. You prove my point. It's so intermingled you dont even know its a private function.

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  24. Hi Bob M

    Macaroni and Cheese is good for the community. Raises the community's glycemic index so the residents won't notice their tax bills. Wash the Mac & Cheese down with some fluoridated Kool Aid and you have a winnah!

    As for unions - Here is an interesting article on unions and pensions in Illinois:
    ILLINOIS STATE PENSIONS OVERPROMISED

    For the record, I had both union and non-union jobs. Union jobs pay better and have better benefits.

    On the taxpayer side, it's simply unsustainable! Substitute "Unsustainable" for "Irresistible"

    It's Simply Irresistible



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    1. Maybe we can cut the flouride, eat vegetables, become smarter and realize Public Unions and the promised benefits are "Simply Unsustainable".............

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    2. Dear Julie my meter is killing me Farrell ,
      Seems to me I have a picture of you wrapped around the big check presented for the Senior Center. Also have photos of you supplying high glycemic high fructose products at events for people in town who unfortunately have passed or perhaps will pass soon of health issues ( unrelated to your “ food “ ) .
      Amazingly, the worries about the Fluoride eclipse the horrific quality of the water being discharged from the “ water treatment “ / sewage plant the one your husband I think held a job at ( public pension, benefits? ) idk 😐 .

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  25. Perhaps look at the spending plan for FY 2019, capital plan and ask T/ A or selectmen how come light department decided not to donate for assessors vision software, back in March. Luckily, assessors caught this prior to end of fiscal year and came up with a plan. Great transparency at selectmen office by the BOS.

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  26. Seems the Light Commissioners have a problem finishing what they are supposed to do ! Or maybe this is another of our "Spin Doctor's" doing ? Regardless , it sounds like listening to someone other than the Board of Assessors themselves, has caused problems ! This has not been the first time the Light Commissioners have failed in doing "a project". From the very beginning the Templeton Municipal light's revenue was used by the community to supplement the town budget. In the past few years the current Light Commissioners have decided they would rather do a project than buy equipment. Seems these people do not trust our elected officials with actual money ! A couple of years ago, no project could be decided on, so guess what ? No project was ever done !

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    1. These are your local officials working for you !

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  27. Light department minutes show they decided to put funds toward getting Bridge street paved rather than pay for the software. Good governance and transparency mean this should not have been a surprise at the end of June. All the more reasons for sewer to keep all things sewer in their wheelhouse, at least for now.

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    1. You bet ! Just think of the mess the town would be in if they had their hands on Sewer Dept. money. If the Accountant can't keep things straight now, just think of the mess that would be created with another department to keep track of. Maybe that is the reason most town's hire certified people. 300K thrown down the toilet, and people have not learned get ! I guess the old saying is right. You can't fix stupid !

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  28. A town administrator in Rockland, Massachusetts, was accused of sexual misconduct by a selectwoman. After an investigation, officials determined that selectwoman was actually the aggressor. https://trib.al/ycoCMgl

    Here is a new town administrator for you

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