Submitted by Michael Z. Green
Participants met and discussed the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision, Janus v. AFSCME, which held that fair share fees (mandatory union dues for collective bargaining and grievance processing) were unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s free speech clause. Key discussants and presenters Scott Bauries (Kentucky), Richard Carlson (South Texas), Michael Green (Texas A&M), Marcia McCormick (Saint Louis), and Luke Norris (Richmond) discussed the Janus implications including looking for new incentives to foster public sector labor relations, new First Amendment constitutional challenges, some state reactions to Janus, and pending court actions to exclusive representation and past payment of fair share fees. There were also other participants NYU, North Carolina, and Memphis law schools who added to the discussion given their labor law backgrounds. Overall, the impact of the Janus decision has not indicated major concerns for unions but more time and the resolution of the many lawsuits at issue will give better indicators for the future of public sector labor bargaining.