by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A pair of healthcare workers in the Northeast have filed lawsuits alleging that labor leaders have blocked them from resigning even after the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory public sector membership is unconstitutional.
William Neely, a Pennsylvania-based psychiatric aide, has accused American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 13 of refusing to honor his resignation. Neely was a dues paying member of the organization for 15 years before requesting to cut ties in July, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that government agencies could no longer require paying union fees as a condition of employment. The union, according to the suit, has continued to deduct from Neely’s paychecks because its contract does not honor resignation until June 2019.
“Mr. Neely spoke about his resignation by telephone with various AFSCME and Council 13 officials and staff representatives who acknowledged receipt of Mr. Neely’s resignation letters but told Mr. Neely that he could not resign,” the suit says.
When Neely reached out to his employer to cease fee payments to AFSCME he was told that payroll “could not stop the deduction of union dues from his wages without authorization from Council 13.”
Connecticut nurse practitioner Cheryl Spano Lonis had a similar experience when she attempted to end her membership in Service Employees International Union District 1199 New England.