United for Missouri supports Gov. Parson on the state’s decision to stop collecting labor union dues from public employees

For Immediate Release                                            Contact:       Ryan Johnson ryan@unitedofrmissouri.org

(573) 469-1278

December 30, 2019

Jefferson City, MO – Ryan Johnson, Senior Advisor to Carl Bearden’s United for Missouri, today went on record in support of Governor Mike Parson’s and his Office of Administration’s decision to stop acting as a dues collector for labor unions.

“It does not make sense for the State of Missouri to shoulder the burden and expense of administering dues collection on behalf of labor unions that too often work against the Missouri taxpayer. What we have seen today is executive leadership from Governor Parson and his team that acknowledges that fact,” said Ryan Johnson.

On December 9, 2019, Missouri’s Office of Administration sent letters to at least three different unions representing state employees. The message was similar: the Office of Administration will no longer make payroll deductions of labor union dues from State of Missouri employees. The reasons cited were the lack of existing labor agreements and dues authorizations not being constitutionally collected. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) was the exception and did not receive a letter from the state. An existing court injunction, AFSCME is suing the state in a separate case, prevented them from being included at this time.

The Office of Administration further stated in its letters that provisions in the expired labor agreements “restricting employees ability to cease the withholding of union dues, if still in effect, would be found to be unconstitutional in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31 et al.” The Janus case decision found that employees waive their First Amendment rights by consenting to pay union dues and such a waiver cannot be presumed, but must be given freely, and must be shown by clear and compelling evidence.

“United for Missouri and members of the coalition have been in a pitched battle over government union reform and the basic rights of public employees to chart their own course when it comes to their paychecks and their right to choose who represents them. In recent weeks, we have welcomed this big step in the right direction and congratulate Gov. Parson and his Office of Administration on their decision to empower workers.”

United for Missouri is the state’s oldest free market advocacy group dedicated to growing Missouri by championing the free enterprise system and conservative policy solutions that have made America great. It is led by long-time CEO and former Speaker Pro Tem of the Missouri House of Representatives Carl Bearden.