* From Tim McDevitt, the Acting Director of Central Management Services…
The United States Supreme Court ruled today that State employees are no longer required to pay “fair share” fees if they choose not to be a member of the union. The Court found the practice to be a violation of First Amendment free speech rights.
As a result, effective immediately, the State will stop deducting “fair share” fees from the paychecks of State employees who are not union members. “Fair share” fees currently average approximately $737 and full member dues currently average approximately $911 per year.
The Supreme Court also held that to be a member of a union, an employee must opt-in and elect to have dues withheld.
Under the law, a bargaining unit employee can opt-in or opt-out of a union at any time. Employees can visit the TEAM ILLINOIS link to notify CMS of their choices and find out what the dues deduction is for their particular bargaining unit. Employees who do not have a State email account can notify their agency’s HR representative of any change in union status.
The Supreme Court’s decision does not alleviate unions of their obligations to fairly represent all bargaining unit employees in collective bargaining, whether they are members of the union or not. An employee’s decision to join or withdraw from the union will not impact his or her job protections with the State.
You will NOT lose your employment benefits if you opt-out of the union. A recent ASFCME circular saying so was incorrect. In fact, Illinois statute requires the State to provide healthcare benefits, retirement benefits and many other employment benefits. They do not depend on union membership or collective bargaining. In addition, even if you opt-out of the union, you still receive the same employment benefits as union members.
If you have any questions, you can send them to Union.Dues@illinois.gov.
Tim McDevitt, CMS