A survey of public-sector union members in 22 states without right-to-work laws showed more than half of them approve of their new rights under the Janus v. AFSCME ruling.
A sampling of 311 public-sector union members, including four in Connecticut, found 51 percent believed the changes were positive and one-third of respondents said they plan to “change what they are paying” in dues.
Lloyd Corder, Ph.D. of Carnegie Mellon University conducted the survey entitled The Janus Juncture: An Evaluation of Public Sector Union Members’ Response to the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling to “better understand how state government employees view this ruling and whether they plan to continue or stop paying dues.”
Of the respondents who viewed the Janus decision positively, 37 percent said it protected their personal rights and freedoms, while 22 percent said it ended an unfair labor practice, and 18 percent said it allows them to save money.
Seventeen percent of respondents were unsure what they thought of the Supreme Court decision and 37 percent disliked the change, according to the survey.
The results of the study are similar to findings from a 2016 survey by the Nevada Policy Research Institute, which found nearly 67 percent of union members supported giving workers the right to leave their union and 27 percent saying they would resign membership if they could.
The results also differ greatly from a new survey of the general population, which showed an increase in approval of unions. A survey of 1,024 adults by Gallup showed 61 percent approved of labor unions, although the survey did not differentiate between unions in the private sector and government unions.
Union membership overall has declined in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics only 10.7 percent of workers are unionized. Union membership for government employees is six times higher than that of the private sector.
According to a 2018 report by the Economic Policy Institute, 68 percent of Connecticut’s union members work for state or local government, the third highest rate in the country behind New York and Rhode Island.
Numbers from the State Comptroller’s Office show that 94 percent of the state’s full-time workforce is unionized, more than 47,000 employees.
Following the Janus decision, the Comptroller’s Office stopped deducting agency fees from nonmembers, potentially costing Connecticut’s government unions $3.4 million per year.
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