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BY: Bill McMorris
A Connecticut professor will recover thousands of dollars that his university's union improperly seized from his paycheck.
American - Association - University - Professors - Union
The American Association of University Professors union (AAUP) at the University of Connecticut has returned $5,251.48 to Steven Utke under a settlement filed on April 5. The agreement headed off litigation that could have further cemented legal precedent barring labor organizations from continuing to reinforce dues deductions from worker paychecks. AAUP entered into it on the condition that the payment "shall not be considered or construed as an admission of a liability or wrongdoing," while pledging to no longer go after Utke, an accounting professor, for further payments.
"The AAUP agrees that it will neither seek to collect nor accept future dues or fees deducted from the Plaintiff's wages unless he affirmatively chooses to become a member of AAUP and authorizes the deductions," the agreement says.
Union - Comment - Suit - Settlement
The union did not respond to request for comment about the suit or settlement.
Utke filed the suit after the Supreme Court declared that public sector agencies could no longer coerce union dues or fee payments from workers as a condition of employment. The Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal that mandatory payments violated the First Amendment rights of government employees. Despite that ruling, AAUP continued to deduct money from Utke's paychecks over his objection since he began teaching at UCONN in 2015.
Union - Fee - Payments - Complaint - January
"Utke objected to paying the Union any fee and never authorized such payments," the complaint filed in January said. "By requiring under color of state law that Utke pay fees to the Union as a condition of employment,...
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