The Janus lawsuit is a bold effort by corporations and other employers to destroy unions in this country. The case targets public employee unions, but the juggernaut these corporate forces have put in motion is ultimately aimed at all unions in America and the collective bargaining that unionization gives us. Unions speak to many other causes and in the case of NYSNA and our public unions, our nurses protect millions of New Yorkers who come to public facilities and get the quality care they need—no matter.
A Janus win would allow states to put out the word to public sector union employees that dues need not be paid—empowering a "free ride" for all the work unions accomplish. This obvious ploy would effectively undercut the ability of unions to function and would constitute a major victory for corporations and their pursuit of more profits.
In anticipation of a Janus ruling against unions, Governor Cuomo and a coalition of unions, including NYSNA, worked to achieve the following legislation.
Public employers must:
-- transfer dues to the union is a timely manner;
-- provide unions with access to new employees during the orientation period;
-- allow unions to set our own rules for revocations of membership or for dues/fee payment authorizations;
-- allow unions to refuse to provide representation to non-member "free riders" in terminations and other disciplinary actions. (This point is very significant—"pay to play"—if a member chooses not to pay dues he or she has to make arrangements for legal protections in the event of a firing or disciplinary action. We are here to help and have shown our skill and commitment in serving our members, but not for free! That's a significant reason why dues are collected.)
These new legal provisions are significant protections of public unions and indicate a broad consensus in our state that Janus is not for us!