California shields public sector unions from Supreme Court ruling

California has found itself in a legal standoff against the federal government and Trump administration over a variety of issues, but one could affect union workers who want to decline union membership.

“California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law that aims to give public employee unions legal cover from potentially expensive lawsuits demanding that they repay certain fees to workers that the Supreme Court in June determined were unconstitutional,” reports The Fresno Bee.

“The law, which takes effect immediately, says unions and public agencies cannot be held liable for fees that unions collected before the Supreme Court ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME on June 27 of this year.”

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision ended a 41-year precedent that allowed public sector unions to collect “fair share” fees from workers who declined to join a labor organization but were still represented, according to the newspaper.

In S.F., Court Clerks Ready To Strike

The court clerk strike talk in San Francisco Superior Court is getting serious. The Courthouse News Service reports that a poll “… showed that two-thirds of the 251 members of local court chapter of Service Employees International Local 1021 are ready to walk out if their demand for a pay raise goes unanswered. Out of the 186 clerk who filled out strike ballots, 169 voted to authorize a strike.
The clerks and court management are apparently deadlocked over wages. As background, the CN notes that “…. in July 2011, faced with statewide court budget cuts of $350 million, then-Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein announced that 200 court workers at San Francisco Superior Court would lose their jobs in a belt-tightening that would also result in closed courtrooms, reduced public access and trial delays. In the end, San Francisco closed 11 courtrooms, laid off 67 employees, mainly court reporters. The court also imposed work furloughs and shortened its operating hours.”
The San Francisco Superior Court’s head clerk, Michael Yuen, says that any strike would be considered illegal because of no-strike wording in the latest labor contract. Read more here: Courthouse News Service