* Center Square…
The former state of Illinois employee who successfully challenged the payment of forced union dues by public workers was back in federal court Friday to ask a judge to force his former union to return about $3,000 in dues he paid while working for the state in a case that could have wider implications for public workers nationwide.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that requiring state employees to pay union dues was a violation of Mark Janus’ First Amendment rights.
The former state child support specialist was in federal court Friday in Chicago seeking reimbursement for some of the union dues he previously paid.
“it’s just a simple matter of, they took the money and I want it back. That’s all there is to it.” Janus said comments outside of a federal courtroom in Chicago.
In court, Janus’ legal team argued that the dues were collected illegally and that he was entitled to receive about $3,000 back from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ Union.
Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that Janus was not entitled to the dues collected while he was contesting paying them to AFSCME. On appeal, Janus’ lawyer, Bill Messenger, attorney at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, argued that the money was collected illegally. […]
Diana Rickert, vice president of the Liberty Justice Center, said a favorable ruling could cost public employee unions about $100 million to $150 million dollars. She said the legal process could take years to play out.
*** UPDATE *** AFSCME Council 31…
Courts have repeatedly ruled in this and similar cases that in setting fees for representation provided to non-members, AFSCME acted in good faith based on a US Supreme Court ruling in place since 1977 and repeatedly affirmed in the ensuing decades. When the 2018 Supreme Court ruling overturned that previous decision, AFSCME immediately halted all fees. Consequently we have a very strong case, which we made to the appellate panel today.
Mark Janus received wage increases, health insurance coverage, vacation time and other benefits that the union negotiated during his tenure in state government. He never once failed to accept such improvements in his working conditions, nor did he ever object to paying the related fees—until he became the plaintiff in Bruce Rauner’s court case against AFSCME. This prolonged litigation is nothing but another political attack on working people, and on Janus’s part, a greedy grab for more.