(From CBS News)
The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a blow to public sector unions, holding that government workers who are represented by a union, but choose not to join, do not have to pay to cover the costs of collective bargaining.
The nine-member court ruled 5-4 that such payments, often called “fair-share fees,” clash with individual rights. The fees violate “the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern,” the majority wrote in its decision in the case, Janus v. AFSCME. . . .
The decision, which was widely expected, is likely to devastate funding for public sector unions, including those representing teachers, police officers and municipal workers.
While workers can choose whether or not to join a union, unions are legally obligated to bargain for everyone in a particular work group. Across the border from Illinois, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 enjoys an overwhelming 83 percent support among covered workers — but only 29 percent of those workers are dues-paying members.