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Appellate court also sided with the IEA this week

Thursday, Nov 7, 2019

* We already discussed Tuesday’s ruling by the 7th Circuit Appellate Court ruling on Janus v. AFSCME regarding Janus’ attempt to recover fair share fees he’d paid over the years. The court also ruled the same day on a similar case filed against the IEA

Stacey Mooney is a public-school teacher in Eureka (Illinois) Community School District #140. She is not a member of respondent Illinois Education Association (“IEA”), the union that serves as the exclusive representative of her employee unit in collective bargaining with the school district. From the time she started as a public employee until June 2018, the District deducted from her paycheck and sent to the union a fair-share fee that contributed to the costs incurred by the union in its labor-management activities. Both the Illinois Public Relations Act, 5 ILCS § 315/6, and existing Supreme Court precedent, Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Educ., 431 U.S. 209 (1977), authorized this fee arrangement.

That state of affairs came to an end when, in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018), the Supreme Court overruled Abood and announced that compulsory fair-share fee arrangements violate the First Amendment rights of persons who would prefer not to associate with the union that represents their employee unit. 138 S. Ct. at 2460. Following Janus, state employers in Illinois immediately ceased deducting fair-share fees from the paychecks of nonmembers of public sector unions.

Mooney filed suit in the Central District of Illinois on behalf of herself and a putative class of similarly situated persons, seeking restitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the fees that had been deducted from her pay prior to Janus. The district court entered judgment for IEA on April 23, 2019, dismissing Mooney’s claims with prejudice. In so doing, it joined the consensus across the country concluding that unions that collected fair-share fees prior to Janus, in accordance with state law and Abood, are entitled to assert a good-faith defense to section 1983 liability.

We heard oral argument on Mooney’s case on September 20, 2019, in conjunction with Janus v. AFSCME, No. 19-1553. We now affirm the judgment of the district court, largely for the reasons set forth in our opinion of today’s date in Janus v. AFSCME, No. 19-1553.

* From the IEA…

The IEA is gratified that the Seventh Circuit has joined the unanimous view of more than 15 courts that have considered this issue, and in doing so have sided with educators in Illinois. These legal attacks are without merit and are solely focused on taking away the freedoms of working people to have a collective voice in the workplace. The court got it right. We will continue to fight to protect the rights of our union

* Related…

* Appeals court says Janus not entitled to recover fair share fees: “The three-judge panel ruled, just as the district court before them, that the union acted in good faith under the law and court precedent that existed at the time to represent every member and to collect only those fair share fees from individuals who chose not to join the union,” said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall. Lindall said that since last year’s Supreme Court decision, there have been 20 cases filed by people trying to recoup fair share fees from public unions. Unions have prevailed in every one of them, he said.

* Non-Union Workers Can’t Get Fair-Share Fee Refund After Janus: AFSCME had a legal right to charge fair-share fees collected from nonmembers until Janus, the court said. “Mr. Janus has received all that he is entitled to: declaratory and injunctive relief, and a future free of any association with a public union,” it said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments »
  1. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Nov 7, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    As it should be. Fair share fees were collected legally before Janus. It was not so oppressive for the anti-union workers that they couldn’t work and earn the better pay, benefits and job protections of a union-negotiated job when fair share fees were legal. If it was, they would have quit or got sick. Janus left the state after he got what he wanted. They want to eat their cake and have it too.


  2. - City Zen - Thursday, Nov 7, 19 @ 5:01 pm:

    Now let’s compare the join vs opt out procedures for IEA.


  3. - Anon - Thursday, Nov 7, 19 @ 9:03 pm:

    The only exception would have been Janus, who paid under protest and successfully sued. But he lost. If he cannot recover back payments, no one else will.


  4. - Anon - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 7:01 am:

    The union should list all fair share employees so full union employees will know who is trying to take advantage of them.


  5. - Tim - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 7:33 am:

    You should not be required to be in a union to be a teacher or any of the public employee jobs. If it is paid for with tax dollars it should not be a forced choice. Want to join? No problem. Don’t want to join? That should be OK as well.


  6. - Scamp640 - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 7:57 am:

    @ Tim:

    I agree. Teachers should not be forced to join a union. They should then also be happy to receive a level of pay based on the average of non-unionized teachers in other states. It will be lower. Non-unionized workers should not be able to take advantage of benefits secured by unions. Fair is fair.


  7. - Tim - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 8:10 am:

    Scamp640. I agree with you partially. Non union teachers salaries and benefits can and should be negotiated individually on a local basis. Taking averages from elsewhere isn’t necessary. If I wanted to take a teaching job AND was qualified I should be able to negotiate my own deal with the school district and if it was substantially worse than what the union could get me then I would have a choice on which deal to take if they wanted to hire me.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 8, 19 @ 8:15 am:

    It’s as though some have NO idea what it means to collectively bargain.

    “Example?”

    === If I wanted to take a teaching job AND was qualified I should be able to negotiate my own deal with the school district and if it was substantially worse than what the union could get me then I would have a choice on which deal to take if they wanted to hire me.===

    Whew.

    “ If I wanted to take a teaching job AND was qualified I should be able to negotiate my own deal with the school district”

    That’s not exactly how it works, and while you can “negotiate” your compensation, it’s within guidelines, not an outlier

    “if it was substantially worse than what the union could get me then I would have a choice on which deal to take if they wanted to hire me.“

    Again, that’s not an “option”. What job allows you to…

    “You want this, the union contract is better… you choose between them”

    Huh?

    Collectively bargained parameters defeat this ridiculousness.


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