With the Janus vs. AFSCME matter pending before the US Supreme Court, and an decision expected in May or June (which most legal experts believe will go against labor unions), our Lobbyist, Peter Meringolo, on behalf of COBANC and all PEC (Public Employees Conference) members (80+ unions - 250,000+ members under the PEC umbrella) and with Peter Abbate, Marty Golden and our other friends up in Albany just finished working tirelessly, for days on end and well into the night and early morning hours, to help to craft an amendment to the Taylor Law. I am thrilled to report that for the first time in its history since its enactment in 1967, a bill was passed to amend the Taylor Law regarding members who may want to opt-out of belonging to their union. The Taylor Law, as previously written, stated, in essence, any non-members of a (what would be their) bargaining unit must receive what I call a free ride; that being full compensation and health benefits that members get, and the union MUST represent them in ALL forms of discipline. That means all meetings with management that could lead to discipline, informal and formal counseling, grievances, article 78's and other legal, economic or job-related services or benefits provided outside the union's collective bargaining agreement. The new law, passed last Saturday night at 1:00AM eliminates the unions duty or fair representation responsibility for all the bolded language above. If the Janus decision goes against the unions, this new Taylor law change should have members think twice about making a knee jerk decision to opt out of the union when they disagree with a decision or get mad about a direction the union takes.
Friday, April 6, 2018
Imagine what management could do, regarding the above, with employees that give them a hard time or that the don't like. In fact, of the 40-50 IG matters that have originated in the past four years, more than half of those members have never been in trouble before. So, if a member, with a pristine record, thinks it could never happen to them, 20 to 30 of our members and President Imandt know differently. In fact, of all the members in the above group, not one has lost their job or their position. I have no doubt that without union and union legal representation, some members would have been terminated.
So, you can see why this new Taylor Law change is a HUGE victory for COBANC, PEC members and all public employees in NYS. The whole country is talking about this historic change in NY and hopefully it will be a guide to other states who's union's would be devastated membership wise (strength in numbers) and financially (ability to operate; office staff, rent, phones, electric, stationery etc.)