Alaska Moves to Comply With Supreme Court on Deducting Union Dues

The Daily Signal | 8/28/2019 | Staff
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Alaska’s labor policies need a “course correction” to ensure the First Amendment rights of public employees are protected under a recent Supreme Court ruling, the state’s attorney general has told Gov. Michael Dunleavy in a legal opinion.

Because public sector employers no longer are permitted to deduct labor union dues or fees from an employee’s paycheck without that employee’s “affirmative consent,” the state’s payroll deduction system “fails to satisfy constitutional standards,” Alaska Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson says in the written opinion dated Tuesday.

Clarkson - Dunleavy - Alaska - Payroll - Deduction

Clarkson recommends to Dunleavy that Alaska implement a new payroll deduction system to ensure that a government employee “freely consents” to payroll deductions for union fees, and does so in a “knowing, intelligent, and voluntary” manner.

In response to the opinion, Dunleavy said it “clearly articulates” that Alaska doesn’t comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Days - Weeks - Administration - State - Compliance

“In the coming days and weeks, my administration will be working to ensure the state is in full compliance of the law and that Alaskans are informed of their rights,” the governor said in a press release.

Clarkson and Dunleavy are Republicans who took office in December.

Months - June - Supreme - Court - Janus

Six months earlier, in June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees that “agency shop” laws requiring nonunion government workers to pay union fees violate the First Amendment rights of those who object to the union’s political agenda.

The high court’s ruling affects about 5 million government employees in 22 states who no longer are required either to join a union or pay related fees as a condition of employment.

Mark - Janus - Support - Specialist - Illinois

Mark Janus, a child support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The states most affected by the ruling include those, such as Alaska, that are not already right-to-work states.

Dunleavy - Predecessor - Governor

Dunleavy’s predecessor as governor,...
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