Two Alaska state employees have filed a federal lawsuit against the Alaska State Employee Association and the state for forcing them to pay union dues against their will.
In fall 2019, the Alaska governor issued an administrative order to ensure no government employee paid union dues unless they wanted to. But within weeks, the matter was tied up in state court and the administration’s efforts to honor workers’ First Amendment rights were halted. In early October 2019, government unions had secured a restraining order from a state court judge that prevented the Alaska government from implementing the Janus ruling.
Luckily, Linda Creed seized the opportunity to resign from the union after the governor’s order. After years of paying union dues, the deductions finally stopped – but only for one paycheck. By early October 2019, a state trial court halted the state’s attempts to operate in compliance with the Janus ruling and granted a restraining order requested by Alaska government unions. Creed is still paying dues to ASEA, which amount to roughly $60 per month. The union and the state know she doesn’t want to belong to the union or pay the union any money, but union dues continue to come out of her paycheck anyway.
Creed and an additional Alaska state employee brought their lawsuit with help from the Alaska Policy Forum and the Liberty Justice Center, the nonprofit law firm behind the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME.