Capitol Alert

Late labor effort on ‘fair share’ union fees stalled for session

A labor union-inspired push to deal with the potential financial fallout of an unfavorable U.S. Supreme Court decision is not expected to occur in the final two days of the Legislative session.

Labor groups had approached Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration for sign-off on a late-session measure that would set aside some required time to meet with employees to discuss the benefits of union participation.

The idea behind the meetings, or conferences, is to discourage employees from withdrawing from unions if the U.S. Supreme Court rules next year that nonunion members cannot be compelled to pay “fair share” fees in lieu of full union dues. Labor officials fear that if the right-leaning court rules that way unions would experience a drop-off in membership and a significant loss of funds.

Brown’s office, which is not commenting, told multiple opponents of the effort that the governor’s staff wants more time than the expiring session allows to discuss the issue with the stakeholders before deciding on a possible remedy.

Among the critics of the late push are the League of California Cities, the Association of California School Administrators and the California Association of School Business Officials. They worry that such a measure would require all of their collective bargaining agreements to be reopened.

When bill language began circulating, the opponents sent a letter to lawmakers Friday arguing that any legislation would be premature.

The “case will not be decided until next June,” the letter stated. “There is ample time for the Legislature and affected parties to continue these discussions during the second year of session and determine whether a legislative remedy is appropriate or needed.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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