Robert Alt, president of The Buckeye Institute, recently called on the U.S. Supreme Court to put an end to states forcing non-union members to pay union dues. The institute issued a press release after the Supreme Court denied to hear Kathy Uradnik’s case.
After the certiorari was denied by the Supreme Court, Alt stated that his organization will take Uradnik’s case back to the U.S. District Court in Minnesota’s 8th district.
“Unfortunately, today the high court passed on the opportunity to hear her case immediately, but it has given us another opportunity to seek justice by sending it back to the U.S. District Court where The Buckeye Institute will continue to fight relentlessly on Kathy’s behalf,” said Alt.
The Public Employment Labor Relations Act (“PELRA”) has been in effect in Minnesota for over 20 years. The law requires that public employees pay union dues, even if they have opted to not be apart of said union. PELRA also asserts that any public employee is subject to representation by a chosen union representative and that no employee can confer with upper management. Liaisons may only occur between upper management and the union representative.
Uradnik, a political science professor at St. Cloud University, has been teaching in the Minnesota school system for 19 years. But after being silenced by her employer, and part of her income being sent to an agency she did not support, she felt it was time to speak out.
“I wanted to be fully involved in the life of university, so I started to volunteer for committees, and I kept being turned down. I quickly found out that as a non-union member I was not allowed to serve on any committees … and that’s actually written into our employment contract and that is just not right,” said Uradnik.
“For too long, Kathy Uradnik has been forced to speak through a union that advocates against her interests,” Alt added.
The Buckeye Institute joined Uradnik’s cause shortly after the Janus decision by the Supreme Court. They were the first group to file lawsuits calling on courts to end compelled exclusive representation. Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was taken to the Supreme Court where it was heard and overturned.
Mark Janus’s case was similar to Uradnik’s in that he faced forced exclusive representation and was subject to pay union dues to a union he denied to be a member of. The Supreme Court found that was a violation of his First Amendment rights and voted it down 5-4. On April 29, however, the high court denied to hear Uradnik’s case.
“We look forward to presenting Professor Kathy Uradnik’s compelling case to the Supreme Court on its merits in the future,” said Alt.
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