BEWARE OF 'MAINTENANCE OF MEMBERSHIP' GOVERNMENT LIES
There is something called 'maintenance of membership' inside many public employee collective bargaining agreements. This is an example of what it looks like in an AFSCME contract. It says that a Union member can only resign their membership status during a very short time period (usually 15 days) before the contract expires.
If you are a public employee who submits a Union resignation letter to the Union and your employer and you are told by the Union or your employer that you are 'not allowed' to resign yet, because it is not yet the 15-day window, please drop us a line. There are lawyers who can sue the Union and the Commonwealth/local agency if you are told you are not allowed to leave the Union.
'MAINTENANCE OF MEMBERSHIP' IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
YOU MAY RESIGN FROM THE UNION AT ANY TIME.
House Bill 55 from State Rep. Kauffman seeks to repeal Maintenance of Membership.
PSBA Guidance v. Common Sense
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) put out this guidance on 6-27-18 about Janus. It contains this analysis:
"Third, the Janus decision has no direct impact on the regular dues paid by union members, nor upon the payroll collection of those dues by employers pursuant to dues check-off provisions in collective bargaining agreements. The Janus decision also does not strike down “maintenance of membership” provisions in collective bargaining agreements that require regular union members to continue as such until a 15-day “escape window” prior to contract expiration. Until those escape windows occur, the full impact of Janus on union membership trends may not become apparent. In the meantime, any union members who express a desire to terminate their regular union membership should be instructed to contact their local union leadership about that. Such requests cannot be handled through the employer directly."
School districts who pay no attention to Union resignation letters like this and who think they can continue to deduct Union membership dues after getting such a letter run the risk of being sued in federal court alongside the offending Union. No employee can be constitutionally compelled to financially support a Union for any period of time. PSBA guidance omits constitutional analysis of maintenance of membership following the Janus decision.
Common Sense: School districts, and all public employers, should refuse to honor 'maintenance of membership' provisions and instead cut off payroll deduction of dues as soon as instructed to do so by the employee.
Maintenance of Membership Lawsuit
In 2012 a Pennsylvania state employee filed a lawsuit asserting that Maintenance of Membership was unconstitutional. Rather than risk a losing case precedent, both SEIU and the Corbett administration decided to settle the case. This lawsuit was filed before Janus. Today, after Janus, Pennsylvanians for Union Reform contends that Maintenance of Membership stands almost no chance of surviving a Constitutional challenge in court.