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Scott Walker proposes to end mandatory deduction of union dues for federal employees


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I'm a retired federal employee and as far as I know there has never been a required deduction for union dues.

I worded that wrong. I should have said automatic. In other words, dues wouldn't be deducted from your paycheck. You'd have to actually write a check or pay it in cash or whatever.
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This would essentially be a carbon copy of what was done in Wisconsin. http://dailycaller.c...ker-presidency/

Alabama did something similar with the AEA. The AEA has been fighting the state law since it was passed in 2010. Without the state collecting their union membership dues the AEA will be become a minor force.


The Alabama State Department of Education has directed school districts to begin enforcing a law aimed directly at the Alabama Education Association's major method of fundraising.

In a memo to superintendents dated April 18, Deputy Superintendent of Education Craig Pouncey said the 2010 law — which had been blocked by courts until February — "is in effect and must be enforced by local school systems."

"The Act prohibits governmental entities, including local school boards and their employees, from arranging by salary deduction or otherwise for any payment of employee dues to any membership organization that uses any portion of the dues for political activities," the memo said.

The AEA is fighting the move, arguing that the law cannot be enforced until there is a "reasonable opportunity" for AEA to decide whether to certify that the contributions are not going to political activities and evaluate individual districts' procedures.

In the meantime, local districts are beginning the work-intensive process of getting payrolls in compliance with the law.

Until 2010, state law allowed teachers and support personnel to check-off a box to contribute a portion of their salaries to the AEA. The option provided the vast majority of the organization's funds. Between June of last year and March, AEA's Alabama Voice of Teachers for Education (A-VOTE) political action committee received $2.1 million from payroll deductions. By contrast, the Business Council of Alabama's Progress PAC raised about $800,000 during that time, while ALFA's Farm PAC brought in $586,000.

AEA used that money to become a major player in state and Democratic politics, which made the group the political nemesis of many Republicans. In a special legislative session in 2010, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a bill forbidding dues check-offs to any organization engaged in seven forms of political activity, from contributions to polling to candidate assistance.

The association sued to stop the provision in 2011, and initially won a preliminary injunction blocking it. However, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the injunction in February, saying AEA was unlikely to succeed on its claims that the law was overly broad or vague in its provisions.

No timeframe has been set for the enforcement of the law. Pouncey said Wednesday that the letter was aimed at giving districts time to begin the logistical work needed to enforce the law, particularly in larger districts like those in Mobile and Jefferson counties, with thousands of employees.

"I think they may need to make some modifications in payroll deduction mid-year," he said. "It's very uncommon, particularly en masse."

Eric Mackey, executive director of the School Superintendents of Alabama, said Wednesday that while AEA was a major recipient of check-off dues, other groups, such as police and fire associations, also receive check-off donations.

"The law requires the local district to contact all people with the payroll deduction slot," he said. "Then a group has to certify that the group is not using any funds for the seven political activities. That's complicated, because every employee has a different set of deductions."

More lawsuits

AEA has two additional lawsuits against the law that are still pending. One in federal court challenges the statute on First Amendment grounds, and a second in Montgomery Civil Court challenges the rules-making related to it.

In a response to Pouncey, dated Monday, AEA Associate Executive Secretary Gregory Graves said the group could not make a decision to certify until it knew "the specifics regarding the procedure(s) that each school system will use to implement the law," as well as each system's interpretation of the statute.

"We expect that payroll deduction of dues for AEA will continue unabated until each of you has met and conferred with your local association on a proposed policy covering all applicable matters of substance and procedure," the letter said.

James Anderson, an attorney who represented AEA in the suit, said AEA still believes the statute is overly broad.

"Our position is it's not enforceable, and even if it is, there's a lot of things they have to do before they start enforcing it," he said.

Work between the state and education groups was ongoing, Pouncey and Mackey said, to assist districts with compliance.

"I think our districts are in the process as we speak to determine the best course of action to implement the intent of the law as fast as they can humanly get it done," Pouncey said.


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