Friday, September 7, 2018

Oregon State Employee the First to Receive Return of Forced Union Dues

The Janus decision is just now sinking in for the public sector unions.

They are dragging their feet, but more members are asking for their dues back. Teachers, public safety officers, and other public workers have chosen to leave their unions.

They don't serve their workers, so people are best serving themselves by leaving.

And in Oregon, the first public employee on record broke away from her public sector union and got all her dues back:

An employee at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has won the first refund of mandatory union fees stemming from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that public employees cannot be required to pay unions dues or fees if they opt out of membership.

Debora Nearman filed a lawsuit in April challenging the mandatory union costs as a condition of her employment at the agency. After the Janus decision was issued June 27, the Service Employees International Union Local 503 moved to settle the case and return more than two years of fees to Nearman, or $2,959.81.

Imagine if every public employee in the Service Employees International Union filed lawsuits against their union. They would go belly up in a matter of weeks!

Nearman, the wife of Oregon Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, said the SEIU actively opposed her husband's election efforts, forming a political action committee and spending some $53,000 to campaign against him, including distributing disparaging fliers.

Not only is that employee in the fish and fame business, but she is married to an elected official, and the union actively opposed her husband's election. Can anyone imagine being in such a situation in which a portion of their paycheck is taken away, and that money attacks their spouse?

Nearman also said she is a devout Catholic and strongly opposes SEIU's position on abortion and its financial support of pro-choice political candidates and legislation. Finally, she said, SEIU takes policy positions that conflict with her political beliefs, including its support of a ballot measure that sought to impose a gross receipts tax on corporations. The SEIU spent millions lobbying in support of Measure 97, which was ultimately defeated.

That's the whole argument. The free rider argument was a false argument, since millions of interests and groups argue for issues that we care about, and none of us pay anything for them to do what they do.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision ended a provision in Oregon and 21 other states that required public employees to pay what's known as "fair share" fees as a condition of their employment, even if they opted out of union membership. The fees are supposed to cover bargaining and contract administration, including handling grievances.

For eight years, the American people listened to President Obama talk about making other people pay their fair share. Now working people are getting their fair share back from the abusive, bullying, yet useless public sector unions which stole the money from working people.

"Nearman's refund represents the first of what should ultimately be hundreds of millions of dollars or even more returned to public employees for union fees seized from them in violation of the First Amendment," Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said in a news release.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is handling some 200 other cases across the country, including a class-action lawsuit in California by 30,000 state employees, Patrick Semmens, the group's vice president, told the Associated Press.

Wow! A class action lawsuit of this size, and in California, could yield unprecedented dividends not just for frustrated workers, but for the frustrated citizenry which pays more in taxes, and sees less in services rendered from the California state legislature and bureaucracy.

If the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the California case, they stand to be refunded more than $100 million, Semmens estimated.

WOW! This is huge!

Union advocates say public employees recognize the benefits of union membership and will continue to support them.

SEIU's settlement with Nearman was explicit that the union has not admitting wrongdoing and was settling "for no other reason" than "to avoid the expense and inconvenience of further proceedings."

Keep telling yourself that, SEIU, and watch as they go bankrupt for good.

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