Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Janus Wasn't The Apocalypse The Unionistas Feared

How are government worker unions doing in California in this post-Janus world?
California public employee unions can celebrate a little good news in the months since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling that stripped them of millions of dollars in revenue and threatened their influence in the state:

So far, workers are not leaving their unions in high numbers. In fact, some labor organizations are gaining members.

Payroll data from the State Controller’s Office show that the unions representing California state employees have collectively gained members since the Supreme Court in June issued a decision that banned public sector unions from collecting fees from workers who don’t choose to join them.

The 5-4 decision in Janus vs. AFSCME ended a 41-year precedent that had permitted labor organizations to charge so-called “fair share” fees to workers who were covered by their contracts but did not sign up for them. Losing those fees dealt an immediate financial hit to unions and raised the possibility that more workers would opt out of labor organizations.

Instead, state worker unions notched a slight uptick in membership since the ruling, gaining about 300 workers among the 185,000 rank-and-file employees in state government. There are 131,410 dues-paying union members in California state government today, up from 131,102 in June. The numbers do not include university, school or local government employees.

“We had a concerted campaign across the labor movement to really show members the value of their union, and I think we’re seeing the value of that campaign now,” said Steve Smith, spokesman for the California Labor Federation. “Members aren’t dropping in big numbers as predicted. In fact, were’ seeing more enthusiasm than ever.”
Well, let's be honest.  The unions and their allies in the legislature passed laws giving unions unfettered access to new employees, and they don't let employees know the other side.  That's not "show(ing) members the value of their union" as much as it is "not letting new employees know they have a choice", but whatever.  At least all those union members are volunteers, and the money isn't extorted from them under threat of being fired.

That's all we non-union people ever wanted.  If you like your union, you can keep your union.  I just don't want to be a part of it.


Mike Thiac said...

I look at it slightly differently Darren. For the first time in ages, the unions have to compete for customers, i.e. the employee. In the past, they did not and they had no incentive to provide a valuable service, or a service the members would willingly pay for. But now they are, and it looks like they may have just cleaned up their act somewhat.

I live in a right-to-work state and I am willingly a member of a union. They provide multiple services, the most importantly is five lawyers on staff if need be. I'll pay for that.

Competition, improves everything.

mrmillermathteacher said...

Here in California I don't see them doing anything different than they did before, except now that they aren't entitled to my money by law, they got new laws passed that allow them to give *their* party line to new employees without "the other side" having equal time. Talk about an unlevel playing field! You wouldn't *have* to do that if you were truly providing a service people would want, if explained to them honestly.