Legislators Act to Save Government Employees Union Bosses from Suffering 30 Days Under not-yet-written Janus Decision
by Andrew Walden
Its not easy to write a law sidestepping a US Supreme Court decision which hasn’t yet been issued. But Hawaii legislators found a way.
A US Supreme Court ruling--expected this summer in Janus vs AFSCME--may require unions to allow members to stop paying so-called 'agency fees'.
Worried about “maintaining a favorable political and social environment” legislators have approved two bills and one resolution designed to force union members to keep paying dues and allow the Hawaii Labor Relations Board write new regulations as soon as a decision is handed down.
Courts in Hawaii sometimes take over a decade to rule—but for the bosses of HGEA, UPW, and other public employees unions, they may be ‘saved’ from the clutches of the not-yet-written Janus decision by Legislatively pre-authorized administrative regulations issued by the Labor Board with only 30 days notice.
Hawaii legislators and all the department heads are completely beholden to the government employee unions. Among them the only debate will be how to most effectively preserve the unions' cashflow by preventing individual workers from exercising their right to quit paying union dues.
HB1725, signed into law by Governor Ige as Act 007 on April 24, 2018, limits union members to a 30-day window each year in which they can end further payment of their union ‘agency fees.’
SCR111 directs departments "to enable exclusive representatives to maintain financial viability and organizational capacity...."
And HB1932 allows for emergency regulations on 30-days notice.
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Measure Title: URGING THE HAWAII LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, AND OTHER CONCERNED AGENCIES OR JUDICIAL BODIES, TO TAKE NOTICE OF THE LEGISLATURE'S INTENT TO ENABLE EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVES TO MAINTAIN FINANCIAL VIABILITY AND ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY AND EFFECTIVELY REPRESENT PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, AND TO REMOVE OR REDUCE FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR EMPLOYEES TO "FREE RIDE".
Report Title: HLRB; Janus Case; Free Ride
Hawaii's collective bargaining in public employment law, chapter 89, Hawaii Revised Statutes, was enacted to promote labor-management harmony in the public sector by … Maintaining a favorable political and social environment….
WHEREAS, in Janus v. American Fed'n of State, County, and Mun. Employees, Council 31, … (Janus) the petitioner is asking the United States Supreme Court to overrule Abood, and the Court has accepted the case, arguments have been submitted and presented, and a decision is expected by the end of June, 2018; and … most commentators expect that Abood will be overruled and traditional agency fees will be banned … (and) …such a ruling would fundamentally undermine the Legislature's consistent efforts to bar "free riders"…( and) the United States Supreme Court may issue a ruling in Janus after the Legislature has adjourned, leaving public sector employees and the State and counties of Hawaii uncertain of their rights without immediate legislative recourse….
BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-ninth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2018, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, and other concerned agencies or judicial bodies, are urged to take notice of this body's intent to enable exclusive representatives to maintain financial viability and organizational capacity and effectively represent public employees, and to remove or reduce financial incentives for employees to "free ride"….
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HB1932: (Gut n Replace)
Measure Title: RELATING TO EMERGENCY RULES BY AGENCIES.
Report Title: Emergency Rules; Administrative Procedures Act; Superseding Law
Description: Authorizes agencies to adopt emergency rules to account for changes in controlling and superseding federal statutes or state or federal case law, subject to public hearing and at least 30 days notice. Provides for expiration no later than adjournment sine die of the next regular legislative session following adoption. (HB1932 CD1)
Key Lines: “…if an agency finds an imminent peril to the public health, safety or morals…. an agency may, in a similar manner, adopt emergency rules where new federal legislation or federal and state court decisions disrupt prior practice under any statute administered by the agency.…”
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HB1725: (Signed into law as Act 007 April 24, 2018)
Measure Title: RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
Report Title: Collective Bargaining; Employee Payroll Deductions
Description: Requires public employees in collective bargaining units to provide written notification to the exclusive representative to discontinue payroll assignments within a certain time period. Requires the exclusive representative to forward the notification to the employer within ten business days of receipt. (HB1725 HD2)
Limits union members to a Thirty-Day Window to Quit Paying Union Dues:
…The employer shall continue all payroll assignments authorized by an employee prior to July 1, 1970, and all assignments authorized under subsection (b) until the employee provides written notification [
is submitted by an employee] within thirty days before the anniversary date of the employee's execution of the written authorization under subsection (b), to the employee's exclusive representative to discontinue the employee's assignments.
Anti-Janus Bills Alive:
HB1932: Text, Status (Enrolled to Governor)
HB1725: Text, Status (Act 007 as on April 24, 2018)
SCR111: Text, Status (Passed March 27, 2018)
Anti-Janus Bills Dead:
HB1929/SB2372: Text, Status
HB1930/SB2369: Text, Status
SB2360: Text, Status (Companion to HB1725)
HCR122/HR106: Text, Status (Companion to SCR111)
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Janus?
Janus: Abolishing mandatory fees could help unions
Supreme Court Justices Excoriate Union Lawyers Defending Forced Dues
VIDEO: What happens if Hawaii becomes a Right-to-Work State Tomorrow?
Unions circumventing the Supreme Court, before it’s even ruled
A Look at Unions in Michigan, Five Years After Right-to-Work
2016: HB1886: Oshiro v Friedrichs to Save HGEA from Open Shop?