MTA President Merrie Najimy issued the following statement today in response to the Legislature’s override of Governor Baker’s veto of An Act Relative to Collective Bargaining Dues:
We applaud the Legislature’s near-unanimous decision to override the governor’s veto and enact a new law that protects the rights of all public-sector employees and the unions they have chosen to represent them.
The measure is a response to the disturbing anti-union 2018 Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. In that case, the court overturned a 41-year-old constitutional precedent that allowed unions to charge non-members “fair share” fees to support the cost of bargaining and enforcing a contract on their behalf. In a deeply divided court, the 5-4 majority voted to undermine longstanding rules ensuring union financial and organizational security. The case is just one of several recent assaults on union power by well-financed right-wing organizations and individuals.
The override votes in both chambers were overwhelmingly approved — 154-1 in the House and 39-1 in the Senate — because our state legislators recognized the vital role that public-sector unions play in advancing the public good.
The new law replaces the security previously provided by fair share fees by, among other things: strengthening the unions’ rights to meet and communicate with the employees they represent; protecting the privacy rights of public-sector employees by restricting with whom their personal contact information can be shared; and clarifying important rights and obligations concerning payroll deduction for union dues.