The TWU International wants to render as much assistance as possible on Janus implementation issues. If any issue arises, feel free to call Transit Director and Administrative Vice President Curtis Tate.
While it has been less than a month since Supreme Court Judge Alito’s pen eviscerated worker’s rights in the public sector, complications, concerns and uncertainty are characterizing the Government employers and their Union’s efforts to be compliant. In order to protect our locals from possible legal action against them and to clarify important steps to be taken (there are already 14 federal lawsuits filed asking to recoup agency fees paid in the past) we have developed these guidelines:
- If you have not done so immediately communicate with your employer to make sure that agency fees – this will be those who were agency fee payers before the decision on 6/27 — are not withheld anymore (or refunded by the employer to the fee payer if the fees have already been deducted).
- If the employer refuses or cannot cooperate, alternatively consider setting up a union “escrow” account. (This is so that you have the monies that should not have been deducted set aside). This is a last alternative. Promptly write a refund check to the employer refunding all transmitted agency fees. Keep records of these transactions. (Of course, the dues deducted from union members would be transferred to the local).
- Make sure to confirm that the employer has properly stopped deducting these monies, so that you will not have to keep writing checks every month from the escrow account! If any of these steps do not work out, or if there are still problems, contact TWU International.
These actions are essential because we may have to demonstrate that we acted in good faith in complying with the Supreme Court ruling.
SAMPLE LETTER TO EMPLOYER:
As you know the United States Supreme Court has ruled on June 27, 2018 in the Janus v.
AFSCME Council 31, that an agency fees provision, like the one contained in our TWU Local_______ collective bargaining agreement, is now unconstitutional for public sector employees. As a result, TWU Local _____ hereby informs you to immediately cease deducting agency fees. If you are unable to immediately make these payroll changes, you should then escrow the agency fee funds until you have the technical ability to promptly refund the fees money to the fee payer.
CC: (include department personnel that need to be involved like Payroll, HR , Labor)
Set up a consistent plan to communicate with members, non-members, and others (some of whom might be acting undercover). All leaders, staff, stewards and union representatives should be trained to properly and consistently answer questions. If questions cannot be answered, tell the party you will call them back and/or have them put the question in writing. (You can follow up the written request with our help).
Please have all persons contacting you give their name and work location. Confirm they are in the bargaining unit. Try to record the date and name.
Stick to the message. Do not freelance.
Do not answer questions from an individual who is not a bargaining unit employee, like someone who identifies as a friend or relative. Have them put the questions in writing, since you are unsure who you are dealing with. You will contact them back.
Ask for help from the TWU International if you need it.
A. Current agency fee payer deductions are now to stop. If a former fee payer inquires about the status of stopping their deduction since the Court ruling, inform them that we sent that notice to the employer (see above ). You can direct them to the employer. You have the right to ask them to reconsider and become a TWU member for all the right reasons. (But acknowledge their choice if you cannot organize them.)
B. Current members still have the right, as they have always had, to quit the union. However we have the right to organize them and keep them in on our union and committed to our fight for power, voice and dignity. Try very hard and use multiple ways to help them see the benefit of staying TWU proud. However, if they insist on quitting, then direct them to follow the CBA or local’s procedure for processing a quit.
C. A person may want to know if they decide to quit (or if they are already a non-member), whether they still get TWU representation. Inform them that TWU will follow the law and provide the representation required. We always have followed the law and will continue to do so. Talk them about their issues and see if you can change their decision. Organize!
If they press and further ask what specific rights and representation they are entitled to as a non-member, tell them again generally that non-members get the representation required by law. Take their name and indicate that someone from the union will get back to them shortly.
D. Remember current members stay members without having to do anything else. They have made their great choice and it remains in place.