Objectors to Pay More for Causes They Object To

Although they are not teachers, this case out of California illustrates the challenge all public sector employees face in states where they can be forced to pay dues. Steven Greenhut has the story on the California Policy Center’s website.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1000, which represents 95,000 California state employees, earlier this month increased the dues assessed on those employees who are known as “non-germane objectors,” or NGOs. These are people who have opted out of paying for the union’s political activities. Because of a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court decision, they are still required to pay for expenses related to collective bargaining.

Last year, the SEIU local spent $13.7 million as part of a bargaining process to hike members’ wages. “The union members who voted on the contract favored it by a 90 percent margin,” according to a Sacramento Bee report, “but aspects of the deal were unpopular among some workers.” To pay those costs, the union hiked dues on these NGOs by 6 percent, thus pushing dues payments for nonmembers to 73 percent of the full amount paid by full-fledged members of the union.