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NY State Budget Allows Limits on ‘Free Riders’

April 9, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

ALBANY, N.Y.—The budget passed by the New York state legislature on the night of Mar. 30-31 includes a provision that would let public-sector unions reduce the services they provide to employees who don’t pay them dues or fees. Language in Part RRR of the bill “codifies that the union’s obligation to represent nonmembers is limited to the negotiation and enforcement of the contract,” the state AFL-CIO said in its analysis of the package. For example, it said, unions would not be required to represent nonmembers in disciplinary proceedings. The provision is one of several in the budget intended to protect unions if the Supreme Court rules that public-sector employees have the right to refuse to pay anything to the unions that have to represent them; one would require public employers to give unions time during work to meet with new hires. The Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany free-market advocacy group, denounced the legislation as “designed to trap public employees into paying union dues.” “It’s to let employees know what they’re getting. Why should you be getting benefits if you don’t pay dues?” Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Brooklyn), who helped draft the law, told the New York Post. Read more

April 9, 2018

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