Implementing the Supreme Court Janus “Fair Share” Decision

Today, by a 5-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court held that the practice of requiring public employees who are not members of a union to nevertheless pay a “fair share” fee to a union violates the First Amendment. Accordingly, all Illinois school districts will need to stop deducting “fair share” fees from non-union members’ pay checks. The decision affects only “fair share” fees. It does not affect employees who have voluntarily agreed to have their union dues deducted from their paychecks.

Based on this decision, you must stop deducting the “fair share” fees today – even if your collective bargaining contract states otherwise.  “Fair share” provisions in collective bargaining agreements are invalid beginning today.

However, voluntary dues deductions for union members are not affected by this decision and may continue, unless revoked in accordance with the terms of the dues deduction authorization form signed by the employee.

If you cannot determine the difference between involuntary “fair share” payees and union members who are voluntarily deducting their dues, you will need to obtain the dues deduction authorization forms.  If you do not have the dues deduction authorization forms on file, you should request these forms from the union.  We expect the unions will be cooperative.  If they do not cooperate, please call us.

You then may continue deducting dues for those employees who have valid dues deduction authorization forms.  Accordingly, you should not stop deducting dues from a union member upon his/her request if that member’s dues authorization has not expired.

Fortunately, for most school districts, all dues (and fair share fees) for the 2017-18 school year have been collected, and you will have time to correct any future issues, such as missing dues deduction authorization forms.

Finally, we expect that you may receive a demand to bargain over the loss of “fair share.”  Please call us before you engage in any bargaining on this subject.  Based upon your collective bargaining agreement, you may not need to bargain over this issue.  Most bargaining proposals we have seen have been benign.  However, we cannot rule out the possibility that you may receive union proposals that are not in your best interest, may cause the loss of grandfather status for the 6% retirement cap, or are not legal.

We believe most unions are on board with the proper way to implement the Janus decision.  Still, implementation may be more difficult in some instances due to lack of cooperation on the part of some union locals.  We will be here to help you through any problems you may encounter.  If you have any questions, please call us.

To read the decision, Janus v. AFSCME, click HERE.

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