Reaction to High Court’s Ruling on Union Dues

AFSME District Council 88, based in Plymouth Meeting, reacts to the Supreme Court’s ruling that public employees who do not belong to their union, no longer have to pay union dues.

Director Tom Tosti calls the ruling an act of union busting.

“To me it’s a political move that kind of takes our voice away from us at the voting booth. It’s even financial. The unions don’t put in as some of these big groups that are allowed to put money in like Citizens United, because we don’t have the funding they have.”

Tosti adds, according to the ruling, all unions must stop collecting those dues from non-union members immediately. AFSME District Council 88 represents public employees throughout Montgomery County.

Commonwealth Foundation Policy Analyst Elizabeth Stelle explains how teachers who don’t want to be associated with their union can opt out.

“It depends on the contract, it’s about two weeks in June when a teacher can opt out and that’s when the contract expires every four to five years, where they can resign from the union. If you miss that window you’re stuck until the next resignation period. For a teacher, it could even three, four or five years before they even have the opportunity to resign based on the decision that came down from the Supreme Court on Wednesday.”

But Stelle adds the key part of the ruling ensures that public sector employees will not be forced to pay for political messages or the campaigns of political candidates.