Springfield resident and Illinois state employee Mark Janus' fight with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) over requiring non-union members to pay union fees has the workers' rights issue before the Supreme Court once again.
On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case that could impact the over 5 million government workers who are required to pay fees to a government union as part of working in public service. In a 1977 case, the Supreme Court ruled that local governments could require non-union members to pay partial fees when public employees vote to become affiliated with a union.
According to the Liberty Justice Center, which helped Janus file the case in 2015, Janus, a non-union child support specialist for Illinois, is required to pay $45 a month to AFSCME Council 31 but has never voted on union representation and says he is opposed to the policies the union advocates.
“Government workers like me should not have to bear the burden of supporting political and policy causes we disagree with in order to serve our communities and state," Janus said in a statement.
"The right to say ‘no’ to a union is just as important as the right to say ‘yes,’ but for over 40 years, government workers have been denied that right," he said. "I am hopeful that after today’s arguments, the United States Supreme Court will restore the rights of me and every other government employee in America.”