Public Employee Press
Union supports legislation in response to court case
By ALFREDO ALVARADO
New York State Sen. Marisol Alcantara is the co-sponsor of the Union Membership Process bill before the New York State Legislature.
The bill would require employers to process authorization cards to deduct union dues from wages and simplifies the process for a worker to join a union.
It would require employers to notify the union within 30 days after the hiring of new employees and allow a union representative to meet with them.
The legislation is meant to fight against union-busting measures like those in right-to-work states. It also addresses the Janus v. AFSCME court case, which is expected to be decided next summer by the U.S. Supreme Court.
At stake is whether government employees will be able to continue to organize and negotiate collectively for wages and benefits. A ruling against the union could drastically restrict the ability of unions all over the country to collect union dues.
“We have the highest union density in the country and we want to keep it that way.”—Marisol Alcantara, State Senator
DC 37 supports bill
Alcantara’s legislation would help facilitate union membership in New York.
“We have the highest union density in the country and we want to keep it that way,” said Alcantara, explaining the goal of the legislation during DC 37’s annual legislative conference.
“DC 37 endorses this bill,” said Wanda Williams, legislative director for the union’s Political Action and Legislation Dept. “This membership authorization process will provide members and unions with clarity, consistency and statewide uniformity in enrolling and renewing union membership.”
Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou, who represents Manhattan’s 65th District, also spoke at the conference. She acknowledged the work the union has done to protect union members against payday loans and pointed to New York State as a model for other states to follow in the fight to protect consumers.
“DC 37 has been on the frontlines fighting to protect all New Yorkers against predatory lending,” Niou said. “Even though payday loans are banned here, it doesn’t mean they’re not trying to get back in.”
Sally Tyler, senior policy analyst from DC 37’s national union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, spoke about the federal budget and its possible impact on the state. Tyler highlighted how unions have fought aggressively to protect health care.
“The good news is we still have the Affordable Care Act; it is law,” said Tyler. “We fought back three times against its repeal. We need to remember that.”