June 28,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Assembly sponsors of Right to Work legislation praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today that government workers cannot be required to pay union fees as a condition of working in public service.

“This decision restores free speech and freedom of association to every public school teacher and government worker across New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth). “For far too long, unions have propped themselves up with money skimmed out of paychecks despite the workers’ objections.”

Handlin’s legislation (A183) would make New Jersey the twenty-ninth Right to Work state by allowing workers to decide whether to join a union. Assemblyman Robert Auth also sponsors the legislation.

After the top court’s decision, New Jersey’s 475,000 state and local public workers could opt out of their unions – taking money and political clout with them.

“This is a victory for rank-and-file teachers,” said Auth (R-Bergen). “Big unions have concentrated on procuring power and excessively paying its leadership while neglecting teachers in the classrooms. The NJEA’s executive director was paid $1.2 million thanks to dues as high as eleven-hundred dollars imposed on full-time teachers.”

Auth pointed to a Star-Ledger investigation that found the NJEA gave its top leadership a 42 percent pay raise in 2016. On average, the fourteen officers identified as NJEA leaders earned more than $530,000 — up from $379,000 the year before.

New Jersey is one of just 22 states where public employees can be forced to join and pay dues to a public union.