630.759.4925—Emergency: 630.905.0663
United to Meet the Labor Needs of Law Enforcement
MAP Mission
MAP was developed to meet the growing needs of police related employees in the area of collective bargaining, to provide due process for our law enforcement members, and to promote the advancement of police labor issues that were not being met by other police labor groups. Joseph Andalina, a 26-year police veteran with more than 35 years experience in the police labor field, originally conceived and established MAP in the early 1980’s. Over the years, it has now, with its staff, board and attorneys, risen to a premier labor union in Illinois.


U.S. Supreme Court Affirms that Collective Bargaining Agreements Must be Interpreted According to “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

Foster Swift Collins Smith PC USA
March 12 2018

In a recent opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court emphatically reaffirmed the requirement that collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) must be interpreted according to “ordinary principles of contract law” when deciding whether retired employees are entitled to health care benefits. CNH Industrial N.V. v. Reese, No. 17-515, 2018 WL 942419 (U.S. Feb. 20, 2018). The Supreme Court once again rejected the analysis used by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (including federal courts in Michigan) that placed a “thumb on the scale” in favor of holding that CBAs provided lifetime health care benefits to retirees. The result is that employers in Michigan will now have greater certainty in negotiating and modifying the terms of health care benefits provided to their employees and retirees under CBAs.

Background of the Case

The case involved a dispute over union retiree health benefits. In 1998, CNH entered into a CBA which provided group health care benefits to certain employees set to retire under the company’s pension plan. After the CBA expired, a class of CNH retirees and surviving spouses initiated a lawsuit in federal court asking for declaratory judgment that they were entitled to health care benefits for life and seeking to enjoin CNH from modifying those benefits.

While the case was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M SmitG Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015). In Tackett, the Supreme Court held that CBAs must be interpreted according to ordinary principles of contract law. It also explicitly rejected the analysis used by the Sixth Circuit, which relied on the so-called “Yard-Man inferences.” Under a Yard-Man analysis, which was not used in any other federal circuit, courts in the Sixth Circuit would infer that an employer agreed to provide retirees with lifetime health care benefits unless there was a specific provision in the CBA stating that those benefits had a limited duration or could not be modified. The Supreme Court held that the Yard-Man inferences were inconsistent with ordinary contract princi
ples. After Tackett was decided, the district court ruled in favor of the retirees. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding that the retirees had vested lifetime health care benefits.

The Decision
The Supreme Court unanimously reversed, holding that the Sixth Circuit had failed to follow Tackett’s directive to apply ordinary principles of contract law. Instead, the Sixth Circuit had relied on the Yard-Man inferences to find that CBAs were ambiguous and therefore, extrinsic evidence beyond the contract language could be considered in deciding whether the CBAs provided retirees with lifetime health care benefits. The Supreme Court held that the Sixth Circuit erred by failing to enforce the CBA’s general durational clause to health care benefits (i.e., that the contractual obligation to provide health care benefits ends when the CBA’s term expires). In order to provide lifetime benefits, the parties must include a specific provision to that effect in the CBA. Foster Swift Collins Smith PC
- Richard C. Kraus and Mindi M. Johnson

HB4780 Amends the Peace Officer and Probation Officer Firearm Training Act.

It provides that the fee required for an applicant for a retired law enforcement officer concealed carry certification shall be no more than 20% of the fee required under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act for application or renewal for a concealed carry license.

Please contact your representatives to show your support for HB4780. Here's an article we are running in the August issue of American Police Beat about the most recent murder of one of our law enforcement officers.

This morning NPR on their Morning Edition radio show aired a story on the dramatic increase of unprovoked attacks on law enforcement. There was no text available so all I have to send you is the link to the segment on the radio show. I hope you can tune in. It's well done. Click here http://apbweb.us7.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=dcd3e5ab5e37d1df82eed bad9&id=8799513fe1&e=bea0cb0b7b to listen.

VIDEO: Help Us Fight This Gross Injustice To my fellow officers! Here in New York City, Sgt. Hugh Barry of the 43 Precinct was indicted for Murder 2 by a Bronx grand jury for the shooting death of an emotionally disturbed woman who attacked him with a baseball bat. This is a message from Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), who needs all of our help to get justice for Sgt. Barry http://apbweb.us7.listmanage.com/track/clicku
and watch the video the SBA produced to educate the public about the realities of police work and the NYPD's use of force training. Scroll down to see how you can help Hugh Barry. The SBA is a founding member of PubSecAlliance, an online community of police union and association leaders and their members.

Helping Officers in Need

A Tale of Two Chiefs

Judge clears way for police body cameras in New York

Today it's you, tomorrow it's a security guard

Improving economy is a challenge to law enforcement recruitment

When Teachers Face the Task of Fixing Their Retirement Accounts

Dow 20,000 - Have any wonders been revealed?

Pension Plans in Peril

MAP is an organization composed of sworn police officers and other police-related employees who maintain full or part time employment with any state, county, or municipal agency. We have joined together to form a more professional voice in law enforcement.

What is MAP?
class= Only full time sworn police officers or police-related employees who
are active or retired may hold office. Membership is open to individuals
as well as associations who may affiliate with us for collective bargaining
or legal defense. Associations or units wishing to utilize our collective bargaining programs should sign collective bargaining interest cards. There are two ways to establish a chapter for bargaining, depending on whether your group is new or has a current labor organization representing you. Call us for details.

Latest News

The Supreme Court's coming decision could put unions past the point of no return

Read article on The Hill website.
I know you've all been preparing for the fact that our Supreme Court could rule that unions enjoying automatic dues collection by the employer and sent to the union is a violation of the employees' rights to free speech. I am sending you an article written by a guy who supports "limited government" - i.e. he wants to privatize everything including public safety. Good to know what your enemy is thinking. If your union is doing anything to prepare for this or influence the Supreme Court (not sure how you do that) please let me know and I will get the word out.

By Michael Reitz
The Hill

Organized labor faces a transformation this year. In February, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Janus v. AFSCME to decide whether government employees can be fired for refusing to pay union dues. A decision for petitioner Mark Janus could extend right-to-work protections to millions of public employees, and the implications for public policy and national politics are profound.

The case is an inflection point for organized labor, coming after decades of grim news. Union membership as a percentage of U.S. employment has been shrinking for 60 years; only 10.4 percent of workers are members of a union, down from a peak of 35 percent in the 1950s.

Several trends have caused difficulties for labor unions, including automation, globalization and the expansion of right-to-work states, to say nothing of exorbitant union contracts. As a result, unions represent only 6.4 percent of all private sector workers.

In the 1960s, labor leaders sought to retrofit collective bargaining to a sector where competitive market forces are less threatening — the government. Though Franklin D. Roosevelt warned against collective bargaining in the public sector, union’s success in organizing government workers helped slow their decline. Government has been a strong growth sector for unions and today 49 percent of all union members are employed by the government.

Government unions won a major assist from the Supreme Court in the landmark case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977). The court ruled that a public employee could be forced to pay for union representation, even if the money supported causes the employee opposed.

Yet even this model of forced unionism shows strain, brought on by union overreach.

Over time, organized labor has shifted its core function away from serving its members and to consolidating its political power, acting as a financial pipeline for a single political party. As AFSCME 36 of Los Angeles says: “Politics is the union’s business.” Or the Michigan Education Association: “Every education decision is a political decision.”

Political intersectionality led unions, particularly the National Education Association, to embrace causes that have little to do with the workplace. Labor’s shift to politics is the logical result of relying on government employees to sustain membership rolls. Unions are self-motivated to grow government: More government programs lead to more employees who pay more in union dues. But fiscal pressures in states and municipalities have been mounting, particularly related to retiree benefits, and the Great Recession forced many states to make tough choices.

In 2011, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker famously championed collective bargaining reform. A wave of states enacted right-to-work laws, foretelling the collapse of Hillary Clinton’s Blue Wall. (Clinton’s data analysts could have observed that in every Midwest and Rust Belt state that enacted labor reform, Republicans retained control of the state legislature and every Republican governor won re-election.)

Hoping to grow the pool of public employees, unions stretched Abood beyond recognition by unionizing in-home caregivers who are hired by Medicaid recipients. The effort started on the West Coast in the late-1990s and early 2000s by redefining public employment. “Caregivers are paid through a government program,” went the union logic, “let’s organize them as public employees.” Unions siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars intended for disabled adults before the Supreme Court held that states cannot force caregivers to pay dues.

The case, Harris v. Quinn (2014), warned of things to come. The court resolved the case on technical grounds without addressing the forced dues question, but an illuminating conversation took place. Both Justice Samuel Alito, writing the majority opinion, and Justice Elena Kagan, writing the dissent, devoted pages of their opinions to Abood. Alito called Abood “questionable” and “troubling,” while Kagan criticized Alito’s critique as “off-base.”

With Janus, the Supreme Court will address Abood directly.

A ruling for Janus will trigger an exodus of union members who held their nose over union politics. We saw this in Michigan; after the state enacted a right-to-work law in 2012, the Michigan Education Association lost 25 percent of its membership.

AFSCME, the union currently collecting dues from Janus, is preparing for the worst. The union told Bloomberg it had conducted 600,000 one-on-one interviews with members. If Janus wins, the union believes 35 percent will stay in “no matter what,” 15 percent will stop paying dues, with the remaining 50 percent “on the fence.”

Nearly five million workers will be affected by the Janus ruling, a fact not lost on the Democratic Party, heavily dependent as it is on union cash and activists. Legislatures in blue states can be expected to test the limits of Janus; some will try to directly subsidize unions with taxpayer funds.

So how will unions respond to the Janus ruling? Faced with a loss of revenue, unions may chose to focus on the needs and interests of members, eschewing partisan politics and far-left causes.

Alternatively, as their conservative-leaning members leave, unions may seek more radical aims, pushing for strikes and work stoppages. Such moves could backfire with lawmakers and the taxpayers, leading to changes in labor law.

A reimagining of the labor movement is called for. The leaders of tomorrow’s labor movement would do well to discard a collectivist, coercive model and instead promote services potential members want while honoring the rights of individuals to make their own choices. Only a few labor leaders see the future with clarity.

Speaking at an Aspen Institute event in 2015, SEIU 775 President David Rolf said, “The legacy model of the American labor movement has now passed its own strategic inflection point where rescue is no longer an option, and we have to begin to plan for what is next.”

Michael Reitz is the executive vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan, a nonprofit group that advocates for limited government.

The Sacramento Bee's The State Worker published this piece about what public sector unions in California are doing to prepare their members for the Janus decision. Follow The State Worker on Twitter: #thestateworker.

Cops, teachers prepare for Janus.

California unions want to keep anti-labor activists from meeting new teachers and cops
By Adam Ashton

The State Worker: Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers June 04, 2018 12:01 AM

California's public employee unions are backing a pack of bills that might help them hold on to members if the Supreme Court this summer issues a ruling that's expected to deliver a serious blow to the finances for labor organizations.

Two of the bills lay out standard guidelines governing how public agencies collect dues from union members. Both give unions time to call workers and try to change the minds of those who want to stop paying dues. One of the bills would require local governments to grant time off to union shop stewards. It requires the unions to reimburse government agencies, but local government lobbyists still have concerns about it.

Another, Assembly Bill 2970, would prohibit government agencies from publicly disclosing information about new employee orientations. The bill's author, Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, says he wants to shield public employees from workplace violence, but it's raising concerns that the proposal is really intended to prevent anti-union activists from distributing information outside gatherings for public employees.

Already, anti-union activists from the Freedom Foundation are showing up outside public employee orientation events in Los Angeles County to distribute information to workers.

Cooper's bill would block public agencies from disclosing the dates of the orientation events, limiting the Freedom Foundation's ability to contact workers at those events.

"It just seems like a bill targeted at squelching political speech and doing so without any good justification," said David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition.

This year's group of public employee organizing bills follows a similar cluster of legislation a year ago that gave labor some extra muscle as it prepares for a Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the lawsuit that aims to forbid public employee unions from collecting so-called fair share fees from workers who are represented by them but do not want to belong to them.

A lot to lose
Unions expect the court will side with Mark Janus, the Illinois state worker who filed the lawsuit. It would end a 41-year precedent that permitted public employee unions to collect fair share fees in the interest of ensuring that workers who benefit from representation don't get a "free ride" at the expense of other members.

California unions have a lot to lose. Fair share fees typically are almost equal to full dues, and workers who don't want to belong to unions would save hundreds of dollars a year by breaking with them.

Last year, the Legislature adopted a measure that requires public agencies to give unions time to meet with workers at some point during new employee orientation.

Many California public agencies already allowed unions to have that access; the new law ensures labor groups won't lose it.

The law requires agencies to give unions a 10-day notice when they hold orientation events for new employees.

Caitlin Vega, a senior lobbyist for the California Labor Federation, told lawmakers at an April hearing that the notice might become a public record that could lead to unintended parties attending orientation sessions.

That could include "parties that have objections with public employees, with law enforcement, with unions, with any of that," she said. "This is an internal meeting, and our intent with this is simply to keep advance notice internal." Cooper, a former Sacramento County deputy sheriff, argues AB 2970 is necessary to protect the safety and privacy of new public workers. "It is imperative that we protect our new public employees attending orientation by only providing advance notice to pertinent parties," he said at the committee hearing. The bill cleared the Assembly by a 52-18 vote and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate.

Its only opposition came from lobbyists representing cities, counties, school districts and special service districts. They're worried that if the law is read literally, they won't be able to hire private sector experts to give new employees training on workplace standards.

"We also think it's maybe not the appropriate response. We don't think it's necessary by any means," said Dorothy Johnson, a lobbyist for the California State Association of Counties.

Anti-union activists gearing up
The Freedom Foundation, which runs campaigns encouraging West Coast workers to quit their unions, says Cooper's bill could inhibit the organization's ability to provide information to public employees.

"If we're not allowed to know where they are, we don't know who's working," said Sam Han, its California director.

His organization is eager to contact union members about the looming Supreme Court case. It recently sent a message to 50,000 California teachers that described to them the steps they'd have to take to quit the California Teachers Association. It contacted them through their public email addresses.

Snyder of the First Amendment Coalition likened Cooper's proposals to a wave of bills in state legislatures that would have criminalized protests like the one led by Native Americans that delayed construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Upper Midwest.

"You see these targeted efforts that have some window dressing justification but really are aimed at stopping a kind of speech that the bill's supporters don't like, and that's problematic," he said.

Claudia Briggs, a spokeswoman for the California Teachers Association, called the Freedom Foundation messages "spamming" of public employees. The union has not endorsed Cooper's bill, but it favors his intent.

"When employees are in an orientation setting, they're given the time with the employer to discuss employment matters from insurance to vacation leave, health insurance, disabilities. You have employment policies being discussed, safety measures, and those are matters that should be discussed between the employer and the employee and that shouldn't be open to anyone other than those involved," she said.

Read More

Support your MAP union. No one else will save your job and benefits!

Legislative Update
House Bill 163 has been changed to HB 3653 SA1. This is the same, dangerous, language as in the original bill. The new bill has not been assigned to a committee so no witness slips can be filed against it. Because the language in HB 3653 is substantially the same as HB 163, it can go directly to the floor for a vote.

We are continuing to actively fight the passage of this anti-law enforcement bill. House Bill 163 AND HB 3653 as amended would lead to unsafe communities in Illinois. The so-called "reforms" would destroy law enforcement's ability to keep communities safe. We urge the Illinois General Assembly to avoid making a sudden, rash decision in the lame duck session and instead work carefully with all stakeholders to truly examine what needs to be done regarding law enforcement in Illinois. https://my.ilga.gov/Hearing/HearingDetail/17819

Special Board Meeting

“The Board Election Policy, Candidate Petition forms, and Statement of Candidacy forms for the Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund are now available for review and completion.

Please click on the link below to review the following documents:

ACTIVE OFFICER Candidate Petition
ACTIVE OFFICER Statement of Candidacy

(Available in PDF fillable format. Please download this form to access the interactive fields)

BENEFICIARY Candidate Petition
BENEFICIARY Statement of Candidacy

(Available in PDF fillable format. Please download this form to access the interactive fields)

MUNICIPAL Candidate Petition
MUNICIPAL Statement of Candidacy

NOTE: The Board Election Policy will be revised at the August 14th board meeting, and may be revised at future board meetings, if needed. The revised version(s) will be uploaded and available for review once adopted by the Board of Trustees.”

TO: Chapter Leadership and Representatives
FROM: Keith R. George, President
DATE: June 2, 2020
SUBJECT: MAP Has Your Back!

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
These are particularly difficult times for us. Adding to the financial and human catastrophe caused by COVID-19, we now have riots. Criminal opportunists have seized this time to riot, loot, beat, burn, and devastate communities. Complicating matters, these criminals have used peaceful citizens, with some legitimate gripes, as camouflage.

Our members are giving our communities a fighting chance at recovery. I write to thank you for your strength, professionalism, and bravery. We have received numerous reports of our members’ dedicated service to their communities. You are to be commended.

As a retired cop, I know the frustration you are feeling. Please resist the impulse to lash out or vent frustration via social media. Doing so can cause misunderstandings and cause workplace consequences. Attempts at humor can do the same. As such, MAP encourages you to exercise discretion when expressing yourself, especially on social media. In addition, I encourage each member to review your own department’s polices, rules, or regulations governing employees on and off-duty use of social media. Please exercise discretion when using social media. The potential risk from anti-police groups and social anarchists far outweighs the benefit of posting online. During these trying times, know this: MAP has your back. We are dedicated to ensuring you receive the timely and expert assistance you need during these times. Our robust emergency response system continues to operate. If you are involved in a critical incident, call 630-905-0663. Our attorneys and representatives are prepared to respond quickly.

MAP will continue to be vigilant for you, as you continue to serve your communities.

Stay healthy and safe!

From: Keith R. George, MAP President

Re: MAP Response to Coronavirus COVID-19
As you know the Metropolitan Alliance of Police (“MAP”) represents employees of your agency. MAP joins the IACP in its cautionary stance regarding the ongoing Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Like the IACP, CDC, government, and multibillion- dollar corporations, MAP prioritizes the health of its members and the public they serve.

As essential workers, the vast majority of our members do not have a realistic option of working from home. As such, the Employer is duty-bound to provide our members with the best opportunity to prevent and protect against this disease, and be treated should they become exposed, or worse, infected.

Toward that end, all employees must be immediately issued all CDC recommended personal protective equipment (“PPE”). In addition, the Employer must ensure all employees are properly and recently trained regarding: the general nature of COVID- 19, proper use of PPE, minimizing exposure in the law enforcement context, COVID- 19 prevention, exposure reporting procedures, and department policies relevant to this pandemic.

If your department, like many, has already taken these steps, MAP thanks you. If all of the above steps have not been taken, they must be taken without further delay.

We are sure labor-management issues will arise during this ongoing pandemic. MAP stands ready to represent its members and work with management to provide as safe a workplace as possible. Our members need to remain healthy in order to continue to be ready to respond to emergencies and assist the communities they serve.

MAP, like its members, stand ready to respond to emergencies. As such, our Union representatives and attorneys will continue to respond to critical incidents, including officer involved shootings.

Exposure can be split into two categories:
(1) on-duty exposure, and (2) off-duty exposure. With respect to on-duty exposure and quarantine, the Public Employee Disability Act (“PEDA”) potentially applies to corrections and police members, and workers’ compensation most likely applies to all members.

Accordingly, employees should receive the same benefits just like any other on-duty injury resulting in an employee being precluded from working. Following PEDA (if applicable), and if necessary, the employee would also be eligible for temporary total disability workers’ compensation benefits (“TTD”) and WC medical coverage (no deductibles).

As to off-duty concerns, should an Employer order an employee to stay home because of travel or off-duty (potential) exposure. The employee should be placed on paid administrative leave.

Because the employee is ready, willing, and able to work, the employee should not be forced to use sick time. A quarantined or isolated employee should not be treated worse than an employee placed on paid administrative leave for suspected off-duty misconduct.

In the event the employee becomes symptomatic, this would trigger the use of “sick time.”

Printable version

Do your meetings turn into screaming matches or worse yet, a room full of incredibly bored people saying nothing?

Having trouble with union meetings? This article is for you! The Condensed Guide to Running Meetings By Amy Gallo Harvard Business Review We love to hate meetings. And with good reason - they clog up our days, making it hard to get work done in the gaps, and so many feel like a waste of time. There's plenty of advice out there on how to stop spending so much time in meetings or make better use of the time, but does it hold up in reality? Can you really make meetings more effective and regain control of your calendar? The answer is yes. Click here


Americans are Getting It: Unions Mean More Power and Pay
Interest in joining unions is at a four-decade high; people want more say in what happens at work

From The Conversation

Only 10.7 percent of American workers belong to a union today, approximately half as many as in 1983. That's a level not seen since the 1930s, just before passage of the labor law that was supposed to protect workers' right to organize.

Yet American workers have not given up on unions. When we conducted a nationally representative survey of the workforce with the National Opinion Research Corporation, we found interest in joining unions to be at a four-decade high.

The results obtained from nearly 4,000 respondents show that 48 percent - nearly half of nonunionized workers - would join a union if given the opportunity to do so.

Unions must either demand a place at the table or be part of the meal From the Story

It is no accident that the present focus of the right’s anti-labor agenda—in Janus, in Friedrichs, and most notoriously in Governor Scott Walker’s 2011 attack on municipal unions in Wisconsin—is on public-sector unions. The jobs are harder to outsource, and thus the unions are harder to break.

Public-sector unions make convenient targets for whipped-up envy, cast as parasites “living off the rest of us,” a role once filled by “welfare cheats.” That most of their members are women and many are women of color probably makes the transference easier.

Widening income inequality has kept steady pace with declining union membership. In addition to better wages and benefits than their US counterparts enjoy, workers in union-friendly Europe now have a greater statistical likelihood of seeing their children live more prosperous lives than they do.

Click here to read the story on the Harper's website. There are also links to other stories about the plight of labor unions in today's world. The complete article is also pasted below.

Major Blow to Unions As Billionaires Win Big
By Laura Clawson

This is not just an attack on a few specific unions. It’s an attack on unions as institutions. The anti-worker right, bankrolled by conservative billionaires, has finally gotten the victory it’s been looking for through years and repeated well-funded Supreme Court challenges to a 40-year-old precedent. Janus v. AFSCME once again challenged the requirement that people represented by public sector unions who choose not to join the union still have to pay a fair share fee to cover the direct costs for representing them. That is, they’re paying the costs of collective bargaining and other things from which they personally benefit, not for any union political activity. But Republicans and their wealthy donors saw an attack on even that fair share fee as a way to weaken unions. And now, on the third try in recent years, with Neil Gorsuch on the court, the right got its win.

Viciously anti-worker Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion he’s been waiting to write since he joined the Supreme Court. The claim is that being required to pay a fee for representation that materially benefits a person is a violation of that person’s free speech when done by public sector unions, because in those cases the government is involved. The decision came along exactly the five to four split you expect: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Gorsuch joined Alito, while Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer dissented.

Let’s be clear that this is not just an attack on a few specific unions. It’s an attack on worker power and on unions as institutions that anchor a great deal of the progressive movement. The case may bear the name of Mark Janus, a single worker, but it’s the culmination of big spending and legal firepower coming from the big-money corporate right. This is one more historically bad Supreme Court decision to mourn in this term filled with them.

The Roberts Court Protects the Powerful for a New Gilded Age
By Jedediah Purdy
Professor of Law Duke University

Faith in courts runs deep in the American liberal imagination. Remembering Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade and the recent marriage-equality decisions, we keep hoping that wise and fair-minded judges will protect the vulnerable and lead the country toward justice.

Recent decisions upholding President Trump’s travel ban and Texas’ racially skewed voting districts are body blows to this optimism. They are unhappy reminders that, for much of American history, the Supreme Court has been a deeply conservative institution, preserving racial hierarchy and the prerogatives of employers.

When it comes to economic inequality, today’s Supreme Court is not only failing to help, it is also aggressively making itself part of the problem in a time when inequality and insecurity are damaging the country and endangering our democracy.

Under Chief Justice John Roberts, the court has consistently issued bold, partisan decisions that have been terrible for working people. Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, decided on Wednesday, was one of them.

Just hours after that decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. With this “swing” vote gone, Chief Justice Roberts will now likely take even more control over the direction of issues related to economic inequality — a direction that is earning him a legacy as chief justice of bosses, not workers.

In Janus, the Supreme Court ruled that public-sector unions may not charge nonmembers “agency fees” for contract negotiation and other services that affect all employees in the same workplace, members and nonmembers alike. In his opinion for the court, Justice Samuel Alito compared the fees to Orwellian ideological browbeating. Invoking the great First Amendment tradition invalidating loyalty oaths and mandatory pledges of allegiance, he warned, “Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning.”

It’s the kind of knotty technical issue — one type of fee for nonmembers of one variety of union — that makes law boring. Unlike the Masterpiece Cakeshop case the court decided in June, Janus isn’t an obvious morality tale: Even many liberals often have mixed feelings about the public-sector unions that represent bureaucrats, subway employees, police officers and teachers.

But Janus is big. As Justice Elena Kagan explained in her dissent, allowing employees to opt out of union fees while getting the benefits of representation risks starving the union of resources, leading to ineffectiveness and collapse. Moreover, knifing unions at a time of intense controversy over state austerity budgets and widespread teachers strikes suggests, as Justice Kagan wrote, that the court “wanted to pick the winning side” in these fights by “weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.”


Supreme Court deals sharp defeat to public employee unions, banning mandatory fees

By David G. Savage
Jun 27, 2018 | 7:40 AM
LA Times

The Supreme Court dealt labor unions a sharp defeat Wednesday, ruling that teachers, police officers and other public employees cannot be forced to pay dues or fees to support their unions.

By a 5 to 4 vote, the justices overturned a 41-year-old precedent and ruled that the 1st Amendment protects these employees from being required to support a private group whose views may differ from theirs.

The decision, in Janus vs. AFSCME, strikes down laws in California, New York and 20 other mostly Democratic-leaning states that authorize unions to negotiate contracts that require all employees to pay a so-called fair share fee to cover the cost of collective bargaining.

In 1977, when public sector unions were getting established, the high court said teachers and other public employees may not be forced to pay full union dues if some of the money went for political contributions. But the justices upheld the lesser fair share fees on the theory that all of the employees benefited from a union contract and its grievance procedures.

But today's more conservative court disagreed and said employees have a right not to give any support to a union. These payments were described as a form of "compelled speech" which violates the 1st Amendment.

"We conclude that this arrangement violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern," wrote Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. for the majority.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch agreed. All four liberal justices dissented.

The anti-union National Right to Work Foundation, which funded the challenge, predicted the ruling would free more than 5 million public employees from supporting their unions.

For the unions, which traditionally support Democrats, the ruling will mean an immediate loss of some funding and a gradual erosion in their membership. Union officials fear that an unknown number of employees will quit paying dues if doing so is entirely optional.

The ruling is likely to have a political impact in many states where these unions have been strong supporters of the Democratic Party.

The ruling split the court along ideological and partisan lines. The five justices who formed the majority were all Republican appointees. The four dissenters were appointed by Democratic presidents.

The outcome comes as no surprise to the unions or their lawyers. Three years ago, the justices had before them an identical free-speech challenge to union fees brought by Rebecca Friedrichs, a California teacher. The five conservative justices appeared set to strike down the union fees, but Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly in February 2016. A month later, the court announced it was divided 4-4 and could not issue a ruling.

President Trump's victory allowed him to replace Scalia with Gorsuch who, as expected, cast the fifth vote for the conservatives.

The current case was launched by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner shortly after he took office. He sued to stop the forced collection of union fees, but a federal judge in Chicago said he had no standing to sue since he did not have to pay the fees. So Mark Janus, a state employee from Springfield, stepped forward as a plaintiff. He said he did want to pay $45 a month to support the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

As expected, he lost in the 7th Circuit Court in Chicago because such union fees were legal under the court's previous precedent, now overturned.

Cynthia Brown is the founder and former publisher of American Police Beat and has been serving the law enforcement profession for over 40 years starting out with a stint with the first community police program in the country in the mid-70's in Boston.

Cynthia is the author of Brave Hearts: Stories of Pride, Pain and Courage. Sold over 20,000 copies and used in over 50 police academies as curriculum material. Email Cynthia at cynthia@cynthiabrown.netfor more information.

Republicans Take Aim at Federal Unions
by Lorraine Woellert Politico
House Republicans accused unionized federal workers last Thursday of abusing a law that allows them to take paid time off to attend labor-management meetings and address workforce issues outside their regular jobs.

The House report was published just days after the Office of Personnel Management raised similar concerns about unionized civil servants.

In a survey, a panel of the House Oversight Committee found that more than 12,500 employees took advantage of legally sanctioned time off, known as "official time," for labor-related activities such as worker disputes, whistleblowing and collective bargaining.

The Department of Veterans Affairs was among the worst offenders, the House panel said. There, 472 employees spent 100 percent of their working hours on labor-management-related business in fiscal 2017, according to the GOP report. Those employees included a VA nurse anesthetist and dentist who each made more than $190,000 a year.

"Some collective bargaining agreements allow certain labor union employees to spend 100 percent of their time on official time," Republican staff wrote. "These employees are subsidized by American taxpayer dollars, but do not have to do their regularly assigned work."

That conclusion echoed the findings of an OPM biennial report on official time, which OPM Director Jeff Pon labeled as "Taxpayer Funded Union Time within the Federal Government." Pon estimated that the taxpayer cost of employees using official time was up nearly 7.6 percent, to $174.8 million, in fiscal 2016 from two years earlier.

Democrats and unions challenged those conclusions , calling them part of a broader assault against career civil servants led by President Donald Trump, who has accused the "deep state" of thwarting his policy agenda.

In a statement submitted to the House Oversight Government Operations Subcommittee, the American Federation of Government Employees disputed that official time was "union time," saying the time was not used to recruit union members, hold union meetings, campaign or hold elections for union office, or collect dues. Rather, AFGE said, "it is time spent representing workers who are the victims of illegal discrimination, illegal harassment, or other prohibited personnel practices."

"Misleading reports on official time are just the latest barrage in a series of attacks aimed at reducing protections for federal employees in the workplace," said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. in a written statement. "Federal workers assure delivery of services over politics, and the unions that represent workers help preserve civilian protections over partisanship."

"The Trump administration is launching a multi-front attack on our independent civil service," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). "These actions will harm middle-class workers who dedicate their lives to public service, impair our ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest, and degrade the services that our government delivers to the American people."

Pon has called for revising civil service laws, including changes to official time and a $143.5 billion rollback of pension benefits. An OPM spokeswoman denied rumors of civil service layoffs, saying "there are no high-level" discussions about a reduction in the federal workforce.

But change already is happening at the agency level. In March, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unilaterally imposed a new contract on the agency's nearly 4,000 unionized employees, prompting AFGE to file a complaint to the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

DeVos and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also have limited employee telework, turning back an Obama-era expansion of such benefits, which were billed as a way to attract and retain employees.

Meanwhile, worker complaints to the FLRA are piling up. The agency has been without a presidentially appointed general counsel since November, a vacancy that has prevented cases from being prosecuted even as rank-and-file investigators continue to refer worker complaints to the FLRA.

President Barack Obama experienced a similar backlog in 2010 after the labor authority went without a top lawyer for 17 months, resulting in more than 340 deferred cases.

Statement from AFGE website: WASHINGTON - President Trump is attempting to silence the voice of veterans, law enforcement officers, and other frontline federal workers through a series of executive orders intended to strip federal employees of their decades-old right to representation at the worksite, the American Federation of Government Employees said today.

"This is more than union busting - it's democracy busting," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. "These executive orders are a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress has specifically guaranteed to the 2 million public-sector employees across the country who work for the federal government."

"Our government is built on a system of checks and balances to prevent any one person from having too much influence. President Trump's executive orders will undo all of that. This administration seems hellbent on replacing a civil service that works for all taxpayers with a political service that serves at its whim."

"Federal employees swear an oath to serve this country. The American people rightly expect that federal employees go to work every day and do the jobs they were hired to do - whether it's ensuring our food is safe to eat, caring for veterans who were injured while serving their country, preventing illegal weapons and drugs from crossing our borders, or helping communities recover from hurricanes and other disasters."

"President Trump's executive orders do nothing to help federal workers do their jobs better. In fact, they do the opposite by depriving workers of their rights to address and resolve workplace issues such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation against whistleblowers, improving workplace health and safety, enforcing reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities, and so much more."

"These executive orders strip agencies of their right to bargain terms and conditions of employment and replace it with a politically charged scheme to fire employees without due process," Cox said.

AFGE representatives have used official time in myriad ways that benefit taxpayers, including to:

* Blow the whistle on management's attempt to cover up an outbreak of Legionnaires disease that killed and sickened veterans in Pittsburgh;
* Address an incident in which a noose was placed on the chair of an African-American worker at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia;
* Mitigate the impact of Army downsizing on employees and their families;
* Expedite the processing of benefits to veterans and their survivors; and
* Successfully negotiate equipping federal correctional officers with pepper spray to keep them safe on the job.

"All federal employees, whether they belong to a union or not, are guaranteed the right to fair representation. Employees who volunteer to serve as union representatives use official time to carry out those representational activities ," Cox said.

"It's a policy that has saved taxpayers in the long run because it helps resolve isolated conflicts that arise in the workplace before they become costly, agency-wide problems. And contrary to some reports, official time is never used to conduct union-specific business, solicit members, hold internal union meetings, elect union officers, or engage in partisan political activities."

"By preventing problem solving, these executive orders will create inefficiencies and hinder the ability of dedicated federal employees to effectively deliver services to the American public."


Cynthia Brown is the founder and former publisher of American Police Beat and has been serving the law enforcement profession for over 40 years starting out with a stint with the first community police program in the country in the mid-70's in Boston.

Cynthia is the author of Brave Hearts: Stories of Pride, Pain and Courage. Sold over 20,000 copies and used in over 50 police academies as curriculum material. Email Cynthia at cynthia@cynthiabrown.net for more information.

Ron DeLord is recognized as a leading public safety union contract negotiator; an expert on police and fire unions in United States; and an author and lecturer on public safety union leadership, power, organization, media and political action.

Ron is the co-author of Law Enforcement, Police Unions, and the Future: Educating Police Management and Unions About the Challenges Ahead. For more information go to my web site. www.rondelord.com


Cynthia Brown is the founder and former publisher of American Police Beat and has been serving the law enforcement profession for over 40 years starting out with a stint with the first community police program in the country in the mid-70's in Boston.

Cynthia is the author of Brave Hearts: Stories of Pride, Pain and Courage. Sold over 20,000 copies and used in over 50 police academies as curriculum material.

Ron DeLord is recognized as a leading public safety union contract negotiator; an expert on police and fire unions in United States; and an author and lecturer on public safety union leadership, power, organization, media and political action.

Ron is the co-author of Law Enforcement, Police Unions, and the Future: Educating Police Management and Unions About the Challenges Ahead.