Thursday, June 21, 2012

SCOTUS & Unions

The Supreme Court announced the disposition of 4 cases today, none of which were the highly watched Obamacare case or the Federal Government versus Arizona over SB1070 - the state's response to the Obama Administration's lack of enforcement of Federal immigration laws.

One of the cases was a strong 7-2 ruling against the SEIU - and another major rejection of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The specifics on this ruling comes from the exemplary SCOTUSBlog - one of the best sites in the blogosphere for information and analysis on Supreme Court cases....
Justice Alito announced the second opinion of the day, in Knox v. Service Employees International Union. By a vote of seven to two, the Court reversed the decision of the Ninth Circuit and remanded the case for further consideration. It held that the case is not moot; five members of the Court further held that the First Amendment does not allow a public-sector union to require objecting non-members to pay a special fee for the purposes of financing the union’s political and ideological activities. Justice Sotomayor filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Ginsburg joined. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justice Kagan.
This is not good news for unions which are under increased scrutiny over their collection of dues and the use of these dues for their political advocacy interests - without any consideration or approval from the union members for the use of their dues on those political issues.

An example of the impact is this Spring 2010 article, "The Beholden State - How Public Sector Unions Broke California"...
The camera focuses on an official of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California’s largest public-employee union, sitting in a legislative chamber and speaking into a microphone. “We helped to get you into office, and we got a good memory,” she says matter-of-factly to the elected officials outside the shot. “Come November, if you don’t back our program, we’ll get you out of office.’

This is no different from the actions of both public sector unions and private sector unions like the AFL/CIO which dumped tens of millions into Wisconsin to prevent Governor Scott Walker's reforms - and then attempt to recall the Governor when the legislation passed.

Here's another example about how some unions operate - and take advantage of their members...
Michigan School Union demands members bank account, credit card numbers to guarantee dues payments… A union president’s letter shows one school employee union planned to handle automatic dues collection of its members by demanding full payment at the start of the year or requiring its members to give a checking or savings account number or credit card for automatic monthly withdrawals.

Debbie Bence, president of the Plymouth-Canton Cafeteria Association, sent a letter to her union members on June 4 stating that the dues had to be paid as a condition of employment.

Bence said the financial information would be kept confidential and kept at the Michigan Education Association headquarters. News reports state that union dues to the MEA are capped at $778 a year.
I wonder what these teachers get for their $778 a year? Is it like the Sacramento, CA 'Teacher of the Year' I reported about last week who was laid off because of union seniority rules which protected older and less effective teachers?

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