BOSTON – Senator Cindy F. Friedman, D-Arlington, recently joined her colleagues in voting on legislation that would help protect a public unions’ ability to effectively represent all workers in labor agreements following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case Janus v. AFSCME.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling last year drastically restricted the ability of unions to organize and collectively bargain,” said Friedman. “I’m proud that the Senate has made it clear that our state supports the rights of unions and understands the benefits that they provide our workers. Working women and men across the Commonwealth should be able to fight for fair compensation and better work conditions, and this bill will help ensure that unions have the resources necessary to effectively advocate for them.”
In its 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court weakened the ability of public sector unions to advocate for workers — both members and non-members — in contractual and collective bargaining activities. The decision significantly limited a union’s authority to charge fees of non-members, potentially cutting off critical resources used in the effort to fairly represent all workers at the negotiating table.
This bill would enable public sector unions to charge reasonable fees for non-members for costs related to representation. The decision to charge workers who choose not to pay union dues would be optional and left to the organization’s discretion. The legislation would also ensure a union has access to appropriate worker contact information and codifies a union’s ability to meet with newly hired employees on worksites.
Following enactment by the House and Senate, the legislation moves to the Governor’s desk.
To continue tracking the bill, visit https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H3854.