Testimony: SB91 Labor Union Membership

Mr. Mark Janus, from the Liberty Justice Center, testified before the House Labor & Commerce Committee

HB91: Testimony presented before the Labor & Commerce Committee

Mr. Mark Janus, from the Liberty Justice Center, testified before the House Labor & Commerce Committee

Members of the committee, thank you for allowing me to testify today in favor of HB91.

I applaud the effort of Rep. McCabe and McKay to allow union members the opportunity to make their own decision regarding union membership. HB91 should be approved.

I heartily endorse the provision that allows employees to make their own decision annually regarding their due’s authorization.

As stated by Justice Alito in his opinion (No.16-1466 Janus v AFSCME)

“Accordingly, nei­ther an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.” (Pp. 48–49 of the opinion). 

This is a definite improvement over the current situation and follows the  intent of Justice Alito. 

As Thomas Jefferson famously put it, “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhor[s] is sinful and tyrannical.”

Providing the employee, a 60-day window prior to July 1 effectively provides a reauthorization on paying dues for those that wish to support the union and what it collectively bargains for.

Many employees may not understand they can resign or go to the trouble of resigning their membership. Many do not understand that by being a union member they are giving up their 1st Amendment Rights. 

How so?  Because in the collective bargaining process and subsequent contracts the union is speaking for the employee…not the employee for themselves.

Resigning from union membership is difficult at best. I have seen first hand the unions squelching of employees Janus Rights, as it is now called. 

Janus Rights are not unlike Miranda Rights. One should be made aware of what rights you have.  Unfortunately, public sector unions do not believe in this basic right.

Because this Bill would require reauthorization every year within 60 days prior to July 1, it would implicitly codify the idea of a one-year window, although it would be an opt-in window instead of an opt-out window.

In June it will be the 5th Anniversary of the Janus vs AFSCME Supreme Court Decision.  This momentous decision gave public sector workers the choice, and the voice to decide for themselves whether joining a union and paying dues was right for them.

A lot has happened since that June 28, 2018 decision.  Most prominent is the pushback of public sector unions to keep workers in the dark about their rights. 

HB91 is a strong step in the right direction.  Unions oppose this step…why?  Maybe because they need to join the 21st Century and represent employees in a different way.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Janus