Communications Workers of America applauds the advisory issued by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas reaffirming public sector workers’ collective bargaining rights in the wake of the Janus decision.
The advisory emphasized that the only change under the Janus decision is that public employers may no longer deduct agency fees from a nonmember’s wages, nor may a labor organization collect an agency fee from a nonmember, without the nonmember’s affirmative consent. The advisory pointed out that all other rights and obligations of public employers and public employees remain the same under the Public Employee Bargaining Act, noting that public employers are to continue to honor agreements and contracts (except as they relate to agency fee deductions of non-consenting nonmembers), that union members should continue to pay dues pursuant to existing agreements, and that nonmembers may choose to become dues-paying union members.
The advisory reaffirmed that public employees have the right to organize; the right to choose a labor organization; the right to join a labor organization; the right to engage in lawful, concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining; and the right to be represented by a labor organization of their own choosing for the purpose of bargaining collectively on questions of wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.
The right-wing attack on union fair share fees is all about making it more difficult for working people to defend themselves when corporations abuse their power. Attorney General Balderas’ advisory is an important reaffirmation of the collective bargaining rights that New Mexico public sector workers still have to join together in strong unions to speak up for themselves, their families, and their communities.