Unions must be paid dues while ‘fair share’ case plays out, judge rules

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GOV. BRUCE RAUNER
GOV. BRUCE RAUNER

By CARL GREEN

Illinois Correspondent

A circuit judge has reinstated "fair share" payments to public employee unions in Illinois, temporarily halting Gov. Bruce Rainer's attempt to block them.

St. Clair County Associate Judge Christopher Kolker ruled April 10 in a lawsuit filed by the Illinois AFL-CIO and 26 individual unions that Gov. Rauner's administration must give dues paid by nonmembers to unions while a legal challenge on the issue plays out.

“We continue to believe that the governor's executive order is meant to weaken the right of state employees to have effective union representation,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said in a statement. “We're pleased that all fair share agreements will now be honored while our legal challenge is pending.”

“Fair share” fees, which require nonunion workers who profit from employment contracts that unions negotiate with the state to pay a “fair share” of the cost of negotiating and administering the contract, are required under Illinois state law.

Rauner issued an executive order seeking to block the fees, but the unions sued to overturn the edict.

The judge’s ruling means state employee unions in Illinois will continue to receive the fair share fees while the case plays out.

“We continue to believe that the governor’s executive order is meant to weaken the right of state employees to have effective union representation,” said Illinois AFL-CIO president Michael T. Carrigan. “We’re pleased that all fair share agreements will now be honored while our legal challenge is proceeding.”

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