Supreme Court ruling affects public sector unions nationwide except Wisconsin, where union powers have been greatly reduced in recent years. The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday has ruled workers cannot be forced to pay unions fees.
The nation’s highest court has overturned a 1977 law that required employees to pay “fair share” fees.
The new law announcement affects government workers in 22 states, including Minnesota. However, the decision has a much smaller on Wisconsin than elsewhere.
The ruling gives police officers and firefighters the ability to stop paying union fees, while teachers, other public workers, and correctional officers already had the ability to not to pay union fees under Act 10 passed in 2011.
That means Wisconsin officers and firefighters were affected by the court’s new rule. The Wisconsin Professional Police Association stated that its members would be affected by the decision.
President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), the largest public-sector union in the state said that the ruling has not affected the organization’s current mission as it has been operating without collective bargaining power.
Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, Inc., said, “This decision by the Supreme Court is another slap in the face to working men and women across this nation in the ongoing assault on workers’ rights. This assault began in Wisconsin with the passage of Act 10, that starved unions of resources and power at the negotiating table. Having built the best middle class in the world, unions level the playing field, and in the Trump/Walker anti-worker era, America needs them now more than ever.”