NRTW Praises Rauner Executive Action, Offers Free Legal Aid to Illinois State Employees
Washington, DC (February 10, 2015) – The National Right to Work Foundation is offering free legal aid to public employees seeking to exercise their right to refrain from paying union dues or fees that may result from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s newly-issued executive order.
Governor Rauner issued an executive order late Monday that instructs all state agencies to put in escrow, pending the outcome of a federal court lawsuit the Governor filed the same day, all forced union-fee deductions from nonmember state employees’ wages required by Illinois’ public-sector labor relations statute. The Governor’s lawsuit asks that a judgment be entered declaring unconstitutional the provisions of state collective bargaining agreements that require nonmember state employees to pay union fees, a judgment that would effectively grant those workers Right to Work protections.
The National Right to Work Foundation has a long history of assisting employees seeking to exercise their Right to Work rights, most recently under newly enacted Right to Work provisions in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Foundation attorneys also provided free legal representation to Illinois home-based personal care providers who, under executive orders issued by former Governors Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn, were forced to pay union dues or fees against their will. In that case, Harris v. Quinn, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Illinois scheme, ruling that individuals who indirectly receive state subsidies based on their clientele cannot be forced to pay compulsory union fees.
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:
“Governor Rauner’s actions may give Illinois public employees the Right to Work protections they so desperately need and deserve. These are bold steps to protect Illinois state employees’ rights not to pay tribute to union bosses as a condition of working as public servants.
“Unfortunately, union officials won’t give up their forced dues power easily. In addition to fighting Governor Rauner in court, it won’t be surprising to see them make it difficult for workers to exercise their rights. State employees who try to exercise those rights may encounter stonewalling, intimidation, or harassment at the hands of union officials.
“State employees who want to learn more about their rights, or experience abuse or intimidation while exercising their rights, should contact the Foundation immediately toll-free at 800-336-3600 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org . We look forward to providing legal assistance to Illinois state employees who want to exercise their rights not to pay union fees.”