Supreme Court's Janus decision could mean more money for employees
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCMF), public sector workers now have more of a choice when it comes to their involvement in unions.
"The point of the Janus case wasn't to save money for workers, it was to provide choice but those workers who are electing to use their newly restored rights will see a difference in their paychecks," Mailee Smith, an attorney with the Illinois Policy Institute, told Prairie State Wire.
The court’s decision now means that workers will have to opt-in to unions rather than be forced to opt out of those same unions and therefore will have the option to not pay any sort of fee to the union.
"Prior to the court’s decision, Illinois state workers who opted out of union membership still had to pay 'fair share' fees to the union," Smith said.
The fair share fees were used to cover costs associated with the union's collective bargaining activities, but the fee might be more trouble — and money — than it's worth for many workers.
"The average forced union fee was $737, according to the Illinois Department of Central Management Services," Smith said.
For more than 40 years, the law required public sector employees to pay agency fees stemming from a ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which the Janus case overturned. The Janus case has been referred to as a "restoration of First Amendment rights" by some.
For workers who don't want to be a part of a union, this decision ensures that they have the final say in what happens to their money and will not be penalized if they choose to not be involved.
"Now those workers see that money in their paychecks," Smith said.