Mackinac Center director of labor policy Stephen Delie recently wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed describing the ongoing struggle to implement the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which protects public sector employees’ freedom of speech.
Michigan became the latest state to comply with Janus by ending automatic withdrawals of union dues. In a directive, the Michigan Civil Service Commission said that public employers must obtain direct consent from their employees before withholding any union dues from their checks. Employers must obtain this consent each year.
Delie explains that despite the clear language of Janus, efforts to bring it into effect are being met with fierce opposition from labor unions.
Unsurprisingly, government-employee unions are fighting these efforts. The Alaska rules are tied up in court. If their rhetoric is any indication, Michigan public-employee unions may also be preparing to file suit to block the Civil Service Commission’s ruling. In recent weeks they have called the ruling ‘a tool for eliminating public unions,’ a ‘discriminatory, illegal act’ and unconstitutional. Yet the whole point of the rule is to uphold government employees’ constitutionally guaranteed free speech rights.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for a free-market approach to public policy that frees people to realize their potential and dreams.
Please consider contributing to our work to advance a freer and more prosperous state.