Supreme Court rules Trump can’t collect taxes from Democrats

“The federal government may no longer extract taxes from nonconsenting citizens”, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority. “This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue. Citizens cannot be compelled to pay to support political speech with which they disagree.”

Whoops, the SCOTUS decision was actually about union’s collecting fees from non-members, not governments collecting taxes. Apparently the court doesn’t think the government should have competition.

UO’s United Academics faculty union has a statement on the SCOTUS’s Janus decision here:

The Janus decision and United Academics

Earlier this morning, the Supreme Court ruled on the Janus v. AFSCME case, deciding that public employee unions cannot collect “fair share” fees from people who have not joined the union as full members.

These fees have, historically, been considered both constitutional and necessary to avoid the problem of “free-riding” by people who receive the benefits of the collective bargaining agreement, but do not voluntarily contribute to the costs of bargaining and maintaining the contract.

As of today, public employees who have not signed union cards will still be represented by their union, but will not contribute to keeping their union stable and strong.

The Janus decision is the culmination of a years-long campaign by right-wing interests to attack public employee unions. One common take in the media over the next few days will certainly be that the decision is the death knell of public employee unions. While the decision will certainly harm our ability to use our collective voice to influence local and national political policies – which is the point of the attack – our local union is still strong.

The Janus decision does not change your status as a member of United Academics. You are still a member of your union. You do not need to do anything to remain a member of UA. Our collective bargaining agreement remains in force. This decision does not impact your rights through the CBA. And our union is still our voice on campus. The Supreme Court’s decision does not impact or change our relationship with the administration.

The majority of faculty are members of United Academics, and that does not change with today’s ruling. More than 67% of all eligible faculty have joined UA as full members.
• 75% of tenure-track and tenured faculty are full members of UA
• 76% of career instructors are full members of UA
• 65% of career researchers are full members of UA

The strength of our union derives from the full and active participation of the faculty. It has made us effective in the bargaining room, resulting in a contract that is a model for research faculty unions across the country. We plan to carry our strength and the history of success to the bargaining table in 2019.

Because the Janus decision a key goal of a right-wing campaign of attack on public employee unions, we expect those attacks to heighten in the aftermath of the decision. This summer, you may be contacted by a group calling themselves the Freedom Foundation or Concerned Citizens for Responsible Unions or some other obfuscating name. These well-funded groups contact union members and try to talk them out of union membership. They have a variety of techniques and stories that paint “unions” as distant organizations that harm workplace relations. If you are contacted by one of these organizations, we ask you to do two things. One, remember that you are a member of United Academics and recall what you and your colleagues, united in UA, have achieved for the faculty and our campus. Two, contact the union office – call 541-636-4714 or reply to this email and let Dave Cecil know.

The leadership of United Academics will be working with our fellow unionists on campus, in Oregon, and across the country to coordinate our pushback against these attacks. When Michigan became a right-to-work state in 2013, union membership actually increased; we can do the same here in Oregon. You can help by remaining involved with United Academics, or becoming active if you have not already. Committing to becoming a steward, joining a working committee, and/or coming to union meetings are all small steps you can take to fight back against those who would make our country and our campus worse.

For more information on how to get involved, check out the webpage or contact the office 541-636-4714.

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30 Responses to Supreme Court rules Trump can’t collect taxes from Democrats

  1. Anonymous duck says:

    Good. Anybody got any information on where I can opt out?

  2. Anonymous duck says:

    UO Matters, you sure do like to assume about your commentators.
    Doing some research…
    Oh, and for the record, I think income tax should be illegal. Whose idea was the 16th amendment again?

    • Inquiring Minds says:

      Anonymous Duck — First off, that “research” article is from the Freedom Foundation site, not exactly a news organization. It’s a corporate right wing funded organization which likes to sue unions and has the goal of eliminating collective worker rights.

      Second, the CONTENT of the research you reference is a COMPLAINT, made by this biased organization. This case has not been heard yet, so there is no decision whether the claims were valid.

      THIRD, SEIU 503 has prominently posted on its website how to opt out following this morning’s decision.

      • uomatters says:

        Thanks for correcting the record on this.

      • Anonymous says:

        First, I know the source, and the bias. Theirs and yours.
        Second, I understand the CONTENT. That’s why I POSTED it.
        Third. This one?
        Where is it “prominently posted”? I see “SEIU 503 members united in face of Janus decision” but nothing about opting out. You’re welcome for correcting the record on this.

  3. Skeptic says:

    Whether or not I will continue to pay dues depends on the next contract. The contracts in my view have gone from

    1st Great (average raises of 4 percent)
    2nd Good (average raises of 3 percent)
    3rd Not good (average raises of 2 percent)

    More and more of the raises are being diverted away from merit and towards equity. If the raises in the next contract are 2 percent or less, I’ll think hard about giving myself an extra 1 percent raise by giving up my membership.

    • justsayuotoducks says:

      Wow, that’s dirty pool–voting with your dollars. Makes me wish I could join the union so that I could quit the union.

      As for non-merit raises, is this just a suspicion, or is there documentation of it somewhere?

    • Dog says:

      When it comes to union raises, most all of the arguments are anecdotal and/or qualitative.

      To better gauge the effects of your own raises, I suggest
      that readers look at their October gross pay check and compare
      that to the previous October pay checks to define the year.
      Start in Oct 2012

      for my own case, here is the data

      Oct 12 – baseline
      Oct 13 – 0% raise (1.5% will be retrofitted into next years raise)
      Oct 14 – 16% (yes, great, but this is all after the final July, 2014
      cumulative raises – and for me, reflects a time I did have some merit, but not anymore)
      Oct -15 0%
      Oct -16 2%
      Oct- 17 2.6%

      So yes, there was a bunch of cumulative stuff , some of it retroactive, that took about 18 months for the system to
      fully prosecute. So, in Fall of 2014 everyone got pretty
      substantial raises.

      Now of course, dogs don’t have any merit, so everyone got higher merit raises than dogs, so I mostly got ATB.

      In any event, 4 years of reflection should reveal that that overall salary adjustments since the first one, have in fact, been quite low, and the UO has fallen further behind its comparators.
      We have not gained ground.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I never signed up for union membership. I did not get a vote, I joined UO after the union was already formed. I don’t want to be part of your club. I will happily negotiate my own salary and benefits (like I did when I was hired), thank you very much. I don’t consent to you taking 1% of my salary. I’m tenure-track, getting tenure *is* my union. If people want to join a group and bargain together, I’m all for it, just leave me and other who don’t want to join out of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except that if you applied and negotiated here after the union was informed, everything about that negotiation and hire was influenced by the new contract.

      And thanks for looking out for other people like a civilized person.

      You make Maggie Thatcher proud.

    • uomatters says:

      It’s not hard to negotiate a competitive offer when you are on the job market. But once you have tenure, and a house, and kids in the local schools, you might find that bargaining by yourself with the local monopsonist is not a negotiation, it’s a take it or leave it offer that gets worse as your costs of leaving increase. The best response to a monopsony is a countervailing monopoly labor cartel, or as my progressive friends like to call it, our union.

      In any case the SCOTUS hasn’t got rid of public employee unions, and UAUO will be bargaining for you next year. So why not join our cartel and get a vote, instead of being a free-rider?

      • Skeptic says:

        If union membership is higher now than when the union formed, than why are the contracts getting worse?

        Is it one of the following

        1. The local bargainers aren’t as good
        2. As annoying as the admin was the first time around, having a tobacco lawyer lead their team was great for us
        3. Gottfredson cared more about paying the faculty than Schill does
        4. The knight campus is consuming all extra resources
        5. PERS costs are real
        6. We’ve lost out of state CA students as our football team has done worse
        7. We’ve lost international students when the UC when from admitting none to 10 percent of their student body overnight
        8. We’re actually not that underpaid when you consider our more generous benefits
        9. Something else

        10. Who cares, all that matters is the raises are getting smaller which is a scary trend especially as university surpluses have disappeared. The well is actually dry.

        • Woop says:

          11. Need to funnel more $ to pay for greater numbers of higher paid administrators and tacking on $ for “overloads” as said administrators get spiffier and more titles.

      • justsayuotoducks says:

        I have a lot of sympathy for your position, but as a practical matter, I’d strongly recommend keeping your powder dry and your resume polished. Ultimately, the best defense is the ability to walk away at any moment.

    • RCO says:

      “I will happily negotiate my own salary and benefits.” Can you tell me how you go about negotiating benefits as an individual employee? I personally want lower co-pays for in-network providers. LOL.

  5. Defecting duck says:

    I am no economist nor a game theorist, but, please, let me know asap how can I “defect” in this stupid voluntary contribution game, and opt out of this cartel that is busy writing a fat paycheck to this site owner. I am not a bad guy. I just like the idea of Nash Equilibrium to prevail.

    • uomatters says:

      Are you sure you’re not confused about the distinction between an equilibrium and an optimal outcome?

      Full disclosure: I get an annual one course release from UO for being the UAUO Treasurer, negotiated as part of the CBA. I don’t get any money from the union, nor do any of the other officers.

  6. Payroll Guy says:

    Interesting to read the rhetoric from some of the comments. If the union is so oppressive and useless why haven’t you left this prison for better opportunities? If you are such a stellar employee you should have no difficulty in achieving your greatness.

    Second question would be if you are willing to opt-out of paying your share are you willing to relinquish the benefits the Union negotiates on your behalf and negotiate as an individual?

    • Conservative Duck says:

      Payroll Guy, exactly. One of the best employers in the area also comes with the caveat that they’ll skim your check monthly for parking, er, medical care, no wait, UNION DUES, there we go, that’s the topic at hand, UNION DUES and then use that stolen money to politically campaign against your own interests. For some crazy reason some of us would like to provide for our children without having to indirectly pay the DNC and pro-abortion cabals.
      As to the second question, that’s a non-issue, us “free riders” can’t be discriminated against by the union or represented differently. Not to mention the dwindling “benefits” that have been negotiated on “my” behalf…yeah, I’ve had my “shared sacrifices” around here.

  7. uomatters says:

    It’s a bit early to write Chief Justice Roberts a thank you note, but rumor down at the union hall is that the SCOTUS decision has prompted 5 more faculty to become union members, with no departures as of yet.

  8. Observer says:

    I guess most of you are recent hires, and didn’t endure the previous twenty years or so pre-union, when our “raises” were few and far between, and never kept up with the cost of living. The first real raise we’ve gotten in many long years came as a direct result of union bargaining.

  9. Dog says:

    Faculty here (I am not a recent hire) often forget about State Biennium Salary Freezes – there have been a few

    there was one from 1993-1995

    then 2003-2005

    then 2009-2011

    these events do make “raises” “few and far between”

  10. just different says:

    Hey, how come the most recent salary data on the IR website is from a year ago?

  11. Woop says:

    It only takes a moment to produce the reports. They just prefer to keep the available data as out of date, moot, and unhelpful as possible. People are in positions, overloads, etc long before that is reflected on the IR reports.

    Handy if transparency is something to avoid.

  12. Anonymous says:

    To add to the discussion–story from the NY Times today:

    “New evidence shows that unions played a major role in reducing income inequality in the United States in the decades when organized labor was strong.

    But it also demonstrates that the decline in union power since the 1960s — which may be exacerbated as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision — has contributed to the widening gap between rich and poor.

    The new insights come from a working paper, “Unions and Inequality Over the Twentieth Century: New Evidence from Survey Data,” by four economists: Henry Farber, Daniel Herbst and Ilyana Kuziemko of Princeton, and Suresh Naidu of Columbia. They establish that unions have constrained income inequality far beyond their own membership ranks.”

    Full story here:

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