Since Michigan became a so-called “right-to-work” state in December 2012, there has been an important U.S. Supreme Court decision that made agency shop provisions illegal for all public-sector contracts across the country.
In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the Janus v. AFSCME case that government employees who are represented by a union but do not belong to that union cannot be required to pay a fee to cover the union’s costs to negotiate a contract that applies to all employees.
That overturned a 1977 ruling that allowed public-sector unions to charge those “agency” or “fair share” fees to non-members.
The Janus decision effectively applied right-to-work laws to public-sector employees nationwide.
As discussions begin around repealing right-to-work for our private-sector union sisters and brothers (including private-sector MEA members), it’s worth noting that a repeal will not apply to public school educators and other public workers without a reversal of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus.