• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

AFSCME Still forcing me to pay dues...

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

#16
Forcing a few people to pay to represent those who choose NOT to pay is not any more fair than forcing me to pay for political action committees. Too many will ignore the benefits of the union for the math that shows that they can have the benefits without the cost. Only if the unions can manage to add extras (insurance, discounts, etc.) that will further increase dues can they hope to sell their product to the truly mercenary.
You had unions that provided you benefits you thought wortwhile, including better pay, benefits, etc. That should be reason enough for people to join the union — they see a benefit to them in belonging. My view is that the people who don't want to join the union should not be part of the bargaining unit (BU) and not subject to the CBA that the union negotiated for its members. They should not get the benefits for free, not should they be stuck with terms of the CBA they do not like. Those nonmembers then would have to strike their own deal with the employer. Unless they can get at least as good a deal from the employer as the union members get they may well be motivated to join the union because the union offers something beneficial to them. But if they can do better on their own, then there is no reason for them to be in the union and the union will have to step up its efforts if it wants to remain viable in the long run. That's how it should work — employees ought to be free or to join or not join a union but if they don’t join they are not part of the BU and no part of the CBA would apply to them. That's the most fair way to work it. Then no one is forced to pay for or be a part of something they don't want but at the same time they are not getting what the union sees as a free ride on its efforts either.

Unions have long wanted to force every one to belong and to pay regardless of what the employee might want. Witness their CBAs in states with out right to work laws — they negotiate for provisions in which the employer will force new employees to be members of the union. Of course that's great for the union, but not great for employee freedom of choice. I favor giving the employee the right to choose whether to join or not. That forces the union to convince employees it offers something valuable. That's how it should be. I have no interest in strengthening unions at the expense of employee choice.
 


CdwJava

Senior Member
#17
So, it is fair that the few be compelled to pay in order to benefit all? Sadly, there are a great many short-sighted individuals out there in the workforce today that neither look at benefits or retirement until too late, and they likewise look only at their bottom line. If that bottom line means that they can have all the benefits of union membership without having to pay a dime, so be it!

I have never been a member of a non-public employee union. And I can empathize about being compelled to contribute to political coffers I do not agree with, but I also cannot abide by a free ride. I believe that what you will find is that many union members will grow weary of paying more to support the growing number who will decide that they do not need to pay for representation and that many unions will collapse. I see most public safety unions being able to survive the change as there is a benefit we can provide our members particularly in the form of a legal safety net - a benefit that is already built into the financial model and is a growing concern for law enforcement employees, in particular, now that civil actions, discipline, and criminal prosecutions are all the rage against law enforcement. Other sorts of unions do not have such attractive benefits to entice their members with and must rely solely on "pretty please," and promises that they serve the members' interests. Too many workers who might agree might also agree that they can get something for nothing and that will be all right by them.

I would have preferred to have seen some better measure of determining "fair share" fees rather than the elimination of a mandate that still allows the non-payers to benefit from the expense and toil of members.
 
#18
I would have preferred to have seen some better measure of determining "fair share" fees rather than the elimination of a mandate that still allows the non-payers to benefit from the expense and toil of members.
The next step then is for the unions to finally support changing the bargaining unit to include only members. Then there won't be any free ride for nonmembers, nor will non-members be tied to a CBA they do not like. That way, if someone wants the benefits the union provides, they have to join and pay the dues. And if the union wants to attract members, it has to offer services and benefits that employees see as worthwhile enough to want to join.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
#19
I have seen this done already in public safety where management (a county in this case) divided the union and it split. They then had two unions and they offered the smaller union the better deal in order to try and broaden the schism between the two. In the case of member deals versus non-member deals, a city or county could break a union by offering the unrepresented employees something a little better than the represented employees until such time as the union collapsed. After that, they'd have the upper hand as they once did ... and, at least in CA, they would merely gain a measure of both hands rather than the one. Remember, we cannot strike or engage in any labor actions and are entirely dependent upon the goodwill of the agency involved. And, from experience, "goodwill" is a rare commodity and usually comes largely from political influence if it can be leveraged.

Janus will likely do great harm to government employee unions. While it will do less harm to law enforcement and fire, it will diminish their ability to influence negotiations and likely lead to further erosion in pay and benefits for public sector employees. As if it's not already nigh on impossible to fill the ranks ...
 
#20
I have seen this done already in public safety where management (a county in this case) divided the union and it split. They then had two unions and they offered the smaller union the better deal in order to try and broaden the schism between the two. In the case of member deals versus non-member deals, a city or county could break a union by offering the unrepresented employees something a little better than the represented employees until such time as the union collapsed.
That's not a good argument for keeping the old arrangement of making everyone a member of the bargaining unit and then forcing them all to pay the dues regardless of whether they want to be part of the union. If a union can't survive without roping in those who do not want to belong then the union does not deserve to survive. Sure management could play the game you suggest, but if it does, the employees are free to unionize once more, assuming that a union can convince the employees they'll be better off with the union. Or the union could take the step of convincing members to stay the union and seek to match or better the wages the nonmembers are getting before the collapse even occurs. If a union is truly providing good benefits for its members, it will find a way to keep and attract members. If it cannot do that, it deserves to collapse.

Membership in a union, and paying for it, should be entirely voluntary. Anything else is in my view, frankly un-American. I'm surprised you would argue for the old system recognizing that it abridges the freedom of the those who do not wish to participate. Is it right to take advantage of those people simply to prop up a union? You would say that's ok as long as you are benefitting? Would you also support an employer being able to force someone to work for it who did not want to work there simply to prop up the company? There really isn't any difference between the two situations, morally speaking. There is nothing special about a union that would justify trampling the rights of others just to prop itself itself up.
 
#21
I'm a county government employee. The agency I work for is largely unionized.

There's light years of differences between working in this agency as a unionized employee vs another county government agency I worked for previously, which was not unionized.

Mandatory overtime in the county non unionized position. With zero notice. Employees informed at 4pm they were going to have to stay late that evening. Everyone but temps were made salaried so no time and a half overtime pay, only comp time.

Temps like myself got time and a half overtime. BUT, we were scheduled on paper to only work 35 hours a week. So any hours worked between 35 and 40 were not classified as overtime and just paid at straight time.


Whether a temp was offered a permanent job was solely dependent on whether he or she "kissed up" to the bosses. Seniority, knowledge and hard work had no bearing on it.

No flex time - ie, working 8-4 vs 8:30-4:30, etc., as in my unionized position. Lunches were unpaid vs the paid hour lunch I get now.

Terrible physical work environment. Dirty, run down and either broiling hot or freezing to the point where we had to work in winter coats. Not even a water or ice machine provided, as at my current agency.

Long time employees let go and replaced with $10 an hour temps with no benefits. Employees arbitrarily disciplined and or fired without just cause.

Much lower pay and worse benefits for non temp employees vs the agency where I work now.

What being in a unionized position means for me now is not having to fear being fired because I'm not friends with the boss outside of work.

Or being laid off with every other employee over age 35, due to "funding cuts", when in reality it was because the nonprofit's medical insurance rates were going up. As evidenced by the older employees being promptly replaced by 20-30 year olds.

Not being stuck in a shift I can't work, just because the boss wants to save the prime shifts for his or her work friends or favored employees.

All things I've experienced at non unionized jobs, both private sector and government.

Having excellent medical insurance and other benefits. Having paid sick time, vacations and holidays.

Getting step pay increases as I gain seniority and regular COLA increases.

Overtime comes with plenty of notice and is paid at time and half vs comp time.

I could go on. I'll never go work for another non unionized employer if I can help it.
 
#22
I could go on. I'll never go work for another non unionized employer if I can help it.
Then in your case the union offers benefits that you find worthwhile and willing to pay for. That's great and I have no problem with that at all. But my experience with a government union was quite the opposite; it provided me no benefit whatsoever and I opted out of it as soon as I could once I saw how useless it really was. I would have hated to have been required to pay for that union just to get nothing from it. Fortunately I was not required to do that, and that is how it should be.
 
Sponsored Ad

Top