Foundation Urges Texas Supreme Court to Nix Scheme Directing Taxpayer Funds to Union Boss Activities

Legal brief: SCOTUS ruled that public sector union activities are political in nature, “official time” arrangement mandates taxpayer support for union politics

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has just submitted an amicus brief in Roger Borgelt v. City of Austin, a case before the Texas Supreme Court. The case challenges a scheme in which the City of Austin directs taxpayer dollars to Austin Firefighters Association (IAFF) union officials to conduct union business on so-called “official time.” […]

The Foundation’s brief argues that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Foundation-won 2018 Janus v. AFSCME case shows why the “official time” scheme runs afoul of the Gift Clauses. The High Court ruled in Janus that forcing public sector workers to fund any union activities as a condition of employment violates the First Amendment, and that union dues can only be deducted from a public sector worker’s paycheck with his or her freely given consent. […]

“The Texas Supreme Court must recognize that union officials are not entitled to a slice of taxpayer funds to ‘bargain’ against public interests,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Texas’ Gift Clauses forbid the payout of public funds for activities that don’t have a tangible public benefit, and it’s hard to think of an arrangement that violates the Clauses more plainly than letting union bosses pursue private union business on the taxpayer dime.”

“While Janus now protects public employees around the country from being forced to fund union activities and speech against their will, unfortunately many states and municipalities across the country permit union bosses to subsidize those same inherently political activities using direct payment of tax dollars,” Mix added. “If union bosses cannot convince rank-and-file workers to voluntarily fund such activities as Janus requires, they should re-examine their priorities, not seek to force taxpayers to pay for what public employees won’t.”


All contents from this article were originally published on the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Website.

If you have questions about whether union officials are violating your rights, contact the Foundation for free help. To take action by supporting The National Right to Work Committee and fueling the fight against Forced Unionism, click here to donate now.

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