National Employee Freedom Week

It’s National Employee Freedom Week, and a majority of public-sector union members agree with a recent Supreme Court ruling banning the collection of fees without express consent, according to a just-released poll.

The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, was brought against government unions for charging non-members “agency fees.” In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled unions must get permission before charging those fees.

Rather than ramp up recruitment efforts highlighting the benefits of membership, some union leaders have launched negative ad campaigns against organizations that inform union members of their opt-out rights.

A leading effort to do just that is National Employee Freedom Week, including the release of a new survey evaluating the opinions of public-sector union members. It found that 71 percent of respondents were aware of the Janus ruling, and 51 percent of them viewed the decision positively. Nearly one-third of respondents (32 percent) disagreed with the decision, while 17 percent were undecided.

Reasons respondents gave for favoring the Janus ruling include the fact that it protects their personal rights and freedoms (37 percent), stops an unfair labor practice (22 Percent), and lets them save money (18 percent). Fully 84 percent of respondents favoring the decision have stopped paying dues or plan to stop.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute and the Association of American Educators spearhead NEFW, a coalition of more than 100 national and state-level organizations working to raise awareness of employee freedom reforms.

Such efforts are particularly important for employees in the 22 states that do not have right-to-work laws.

“I’m no longer forced to give my money to the union,” said one NEFW survey respondent, adding, “I can now decide based and how I feel the union is doing representing me.”

Exactly.

Vicki E. Alger is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Senior Fellow and Director of the Women for School Choice Project at the Independent Women’s Forum. She is the author of the Independent book, Failure.
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