In a landmark U.S. labor law case, Janus v. AFSCME the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional under the First Amendment to require public employees to pay Union agency fees. The reasoning behind that decision is based on the fact that unions donate large portions of their fees to political organizations. Employees who’ve declined to join their unions have been charged agency fees regardless. Some employees have objected to financially supporting political organization’s whose practices violate their conscience.
That was the case with Connecticut resident Cheryl Lonis. Cheryl attempted to redirect her union dues away from Planned Parenthood, but the union wouldn’t allow her to give her dues to another charity. Because of the Supreme Court’s decision Cheryl is now able to resign from her union.
A similar situation took place with Elizabeth Stuckart, a devout Catholic who didn’t want her dues and fees given to Planned Parenthood or any organization that facilitates abortion. Elizabeth requested her dues be given to a local food bank instead but her request was ignored. After the Janus decision, Elizabeth can control where her money is going.
Connecticut’s government unions have donated massive sums of money and support to Planned Parenthood for years. Union members have tried to hold their unions accountable for how their dues were spent and they’ve been unsuccessful and ignored. Now because of the Janus vs. AFSCME decision, union members have the right to resign from their union without fear of discrimination or loss of benefits.
Along with donations, some Unions voice their support for pro-choice organizations through resolutions and statements. Did you know:
- The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) passed a 2016 resolution to Stand with Planned Parenthood?
- SEIU, AFT and AFSCME are some of the largest donors to Planned Parenthood’s political action committee?
- SEIU and the AFL-CIO both released statements supporting Planned Parenthood following the release of horrific undercover videos in 2015?
- SEIU, AFT, and AFSCME joined with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America for a “Day of Action” march on Feb. 24, 2018?
- SEIU joined with Planned Parenthood in a $30 million 2018 campaign to swing elections in Florida, Michigan and Nevada?
Thankfully now union members have a pathway toward’s controlling their finances and standing for their beliefs. We encourage any state or municipal worker concerned with how Connecticut’s government unions are spending their member’s hard-earned dues, to visit CTWorkers.org to learn how to say, “no more.”
After the Court’s ruling reports of unions using scare tactics to prevent members from exercising their rights have surfaced. It’s important to know that state and municipal employees won’t lose their health benefits, seniority or right to grievance representation or pensions if they resign from their unions.
Union members have a Constitutional right to freedom of speech and now they have the power to decide who gets their financial support.