A case about whether state government employees should be forced to pay dues is still alive after the National Right To Work (NRTW) Foundation filed an appeal on behalf of two state employees.
The case, involving two state employees suing the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union over dues state employees are forced to pay, was shot down initially, however an appeal has been filed in the Seventh Circuit Court.
NRTW President Mark Mix said the case, Janus v. AFSCME, is a continuation of the successful 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case Harris v. Quinn.
“In the Harris case, notwithstanding the fact that they freed a certain type of employee from compulsory fees, the expansion of that particular precedent to all government employees is a pretty important next step,” Mix said.
Mix said forced union dues hijack employee speech.
“They’re basically speaking for people that don’t want them to speak for them in any situation and yet because they’re government employees their first amendment right to speak for themselves has been violated,” Mix said.
Government unions are similar to private sector monopolies, Mix said.
“There would be no incentive to be accountable or to have great customer service or to improve the product or to improve the quality because no competition means there’s no competition,” he said.
Mix said that’s exactly what’s happening in Illinois with government sector unions.
“They can’t be held accountable because, simply, they get your money every month just because you’re working and the idea that you can’t work if you don’t pay them is kind of the original sin,” Mix said.
It could be months before the appeals court decides what to do with the case.
Messages to AFSCME’s spokesperson seeking comment were not returned.
The plaintiffs are also represented by attorneys from a partner organization to Illinois Radio Network's parent company, Illinois Policy Institute.