AFSCME has historically reaffirmed the importance of union security to labor-management stability and to the principle of fairness in state and local government labor relations. Convention resolutions have urged the enactment of agency shop legislation, and particularly the adoption of state laws providing automatic agency shop for exclusive representatives; and
AFSCME's support for union security has included the adoption of machinery by which all persons who contribute to the financial support of the Union may obtain a rebate of that part of the individual's payment that is spent by the Union for partisan political or ideological purposes with which the individual disagrees. This approach was endorsed by the United States Supreme Court in 1977. It is now clear that a state may authorize or require agency shop, with the agency shop fee equal to the bargaining representative's regular dues, so long as protection for the First Amendment rights of dissenters is assured; and
Right-wing groups such as the National Right to Work Committee and its offshoots Americans Against Union Control of Government and the Public Service Research Council continue their vendetta against any form of union security. Their attack on union security is really an attempt to rid the public sector of trade union organizations; and
Presently, some of the public employees in 17 states have the right to negotiate an agency shop. In 4 of the 17 states an agency shop is mandatory for the exclusive representative. The recently enacted Illinois and Ohio collective bargaining legislation includes the right to negotiate a fair share fee arrangement.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
That AFSCME continue to seek legislation enabling union security. Such legislation should provide agency shop for exclusive representatives, and protect the rights of all public employees by requiring a payment by each individual equal to dues. A process for establishing a rebate procedure for individuals who object to union expenditures for partisan political or ideological purposes should also be included; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
That AFSCME reaffirm its conviction that every worker who is represented by a union should pay a fair share of the cost of this representation. That AFSCME both nationally and locally continue its struggle against those groups that promote "right-to-work" legislation by revealing their connection to the Right and their ultimate motivation for a "union-free environment."
Robert A. Brindza, International Vice President
AFSCME Council 8