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Supreme Court Rules Public Employees Are Not Required to Fund Unions in Big Win for First Amendment Rights

    Media Contact: Kim Crockett 612.388.2820 kim.crockett@americanexperiment.org Decision affects thousands of Minnesota teachers, state and local government employees In a landmark decision for First Amendment rights, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that public employees cannot be compelled to pay union fees as a condition of employment. The 5-4 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME restores the First Amendment rights of freedom of association and free speech to more than five million government employees nationwide. The decision is likely to decrease the funding and political clout of powerful public employee unions in Minnesota and 21 other non-right-to-work states. Weighing a case brought by Mark Janus, an Illinois...

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Educated Teachers Project Launches Statewide Information Campaign

A new project being launched on National Teacher Appreciation Day, Educated Teachers MN aims to inform and empower Minnesota K-12 educators by raising awareness of a U.S. Supreme Court case widely expected to end the forced payment of union dues and fees by teachers and other government employees as a condition of employment. In 2016-2017 Education Minnesota collected over $50 million in dues and fees from 75,000 teachers statewide that were used for collective bargaining, lobbying and advancing the union’s political agenda. But Education Minnesota, AFSCME-5 and other statewide public employee unions are already bracing for the potential loss of thousands of...

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1st Amendment Challenge to Mandatory Union Fees Could Free All Public Employees From Forced Union Fees

Education Minnesota tactics cited in briefs before the Court The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard the long-anticipated case brought by Mark Janus, an Illinois child support specialist who’s asking the Court to end mandatory “agency” or “fair-share” fees. [caption id="attachment_9418" align="alignright" width="227"] Mark Janus[/caption] Center of the American Experiment has joined Cato Institute and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of Mark Janus. The legal theory of the case is that all public-sector collective bargaining is political. Several other briefs before the Court cite an opinion editorial by Kim Crockett...

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10,000 Cards Delivered to Gov. Dayton Demanding New PCA Election

Saint Paul, MN—Minnesota Personal Care Attendants (MNPCA), a coalition of home care workers and advocates, today delivered over 10,000 cards from PCAs across the state, demanding a union decertification election. The cards total three times more than the 3,543 PCAs who voted for unionization in 2014. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota established the union in a mail-in ballot, low voter turnout election with just 13 percent of the estimated 27,000 home-based PCAs in Minnesota. “Our impression after contacting thousands of PCAs around the state is that they just did not know about the election,” said Kim Crockett, Vice President at Center of the American...

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Big Cuts Coming at MAPE State Public Employee Union

The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) plans to slash its 2018 budget and revamp operations in anticipation of the fallout from a case that hasn’t even reached the U.S. Supreme Court—yet. For Minnesota’s largest state public employee bargaining unit, it’s not a question of if but when the high court takes up the so-called Janus case and strikes down mandatory union fees. As a result, MAPE will put a proposal before the union’s Delegate Assembly in two weeks to cut $1.4 million--more than 20 percent—from next year’s budget to offset an expected loss of members, dues and fair share fees that...

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Education MN Braces for Loss of Thousands of Members and Millions of Dollars

The state’s most powerful public employee union—Education Minnesota—has quietly begun laying the groundwork to prevent the potential loss of thousands of members and millions of dollars, depending on the outcome of a landmark labor rights case widely expected to go before the U.S. Supreme Court next term. The pivotal case involves a public employee from Illinois named Mark Janus, who’s asked the high court to restore his First Amendment rights by reversing a 1977 decision (Abood v Board of Education) that established “fair share” union fees for public employees. If the Court takes Janus’ case and he wins, unionized public employees in...

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Right to Union Contact Lists Upheld by Minnesota Court of Appeals

The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a Ramsey County District Court order directing the Dayton administration to turn over an up-to-date list of personal care attendants to a group (MNPCA) opposed to union representation, clearing a legal hurdle to a campaign aimed at decertifying the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota bargaining unit. In order to force the election, MNPCA must garner signatures from 30 percent of a statewide PCA bargaining unit. But the 18-month long campaign has been stymied from the start by the Dayton administration’s lack of cooperation in providing accurate and timely lists of PCAs in Minnesota. As a...

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American Experiment urges High Court to Hear Mandatory Union Fees Challenge

Janus v. AFSCME could free all government workers in the U.S. from being forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment Public school teachers, state social workers and other public employees should not be forced to pay money to a union just so they can keep their jobs. That’s why Center of the American Experiment is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Janus v. AFSCME. Janus v. AFSCME has the potential to finally end the decades-old requirement of forcing government employees to pay mandatory union fees regardless of whether they want to be represented by a union. This case...

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Lawmakers Spar Over Controversial Home Care Worker Contract

It’s not often a hearing of the Subcommittee on Employee Relations packs the room. But the chambers were filled for a hard-hitting legislative session at the State Capitol on Monday that put the Service Employees International Union and their backers on notice. The message? No more business as usual when it comes to public employee union contracts considered for approval by state legislators. The abrupt change caught Democrats off guard. “I have served on this subcommittee as the longest serving member,” said Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center). ” I have never seen what’s about to happen today happen in this subcommittee ever and...

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SEIU and State Ordered to Halt Early Contract Talks in Boost for Decertification Drive

The Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services has ordered the suspension of contract talks between the Service Employees International Union representing personal care attendants and state negotiators to avoid interfering with a union decertification campaign underway. “This Order is issued to preserve existing conditions and promote a free and fair environment for the resolution of this question of representation,” said Carol Clifford, a BMS Representation Specialist, in a two page order dated December 5. “…It shall remain in full force and effect until an investigation and/or hearing has been conducted and the matter is disposed of by a determination issued by the Commissioner...

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