Eight Ways New York is Strengthening Unions Before Janus

Date Posted

Thanks to the efforts of public sector unions in New York, like the Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, NYSUT, and the NYS AFL-CIO, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed and Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law making changes to the Taylor Act. These changes are meant to preempt any changes that will come thanks to the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court case, which will be decided in June.

Below are some of the new changes that have been made. While some are minor and often already in practice, some of these changes are major and will help many New York unions to keep their membership strong, if the Supreme Court decides to support the corporate-backed attempt to bring Right to Work to the entire country.

Highlights of the new amendments to the Taylor Law include:

  1. Dues deductions shall be commenced as soon as possible, but no later than thirty days after the dues deduction cards are signed.
     
  2. Within the first 30 days of employment or reemployment of an individual, the employer shall notify your union of the hiring, transfer or assignment into the bargaining unit.
     
  3. Within 30 days of receiving notice from the employer of the hiring, your union shall have a meeting with the employee for a reasonable amount of time during work hours without charge to leave credits, unless directed otherwise by the collective bargaining agreement.
     
  4. If you leave employment for no more than one year, your dues deduction card remains valid.
     
  5. If you are removed from the payroll or placed on a voluntary or involuntary leave of absence, whether paid or not, your union membership remains upon restoration to active service.
     
  6. If a union member wishes to withdraw from their union, it must be in conformance with the language on the deduction card.
     
  7. For purposes of the union's duty to fairly represent a non-dues paying member, the union shall not be obligated to represent the person in any investigation of employee misconduct, evaluation, grievances, arbitration or any other contractual process concerning evaluation or discipline.
     
  8. The union shall only represent the non-dues paying member as it relates to the negotiation of terms of a collective bargaining agreement or enforcement of same.