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Should Public Employees Be Able To Opt Out Of Union Dues?

OPB | July 2, 2014 12:20 p.m. | Updated: July 2, 2014 3:20 p.m.

In a 5-4 decision released Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that home health care workers in Illinois have the right to opt out of union dues if they don’t want union representation. Jill Gibson was watching this case closely. She’s the driving force behind an Oregon ballot measure that would allow all public employees to opt out of union dues.

Governor Kitzhaber negotiated a deal between Gibson and the state’s public sector unions to avoid competing measures on the 2014 ballot, but Gibson says she intends to bring the issue back in 2016. Her interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling is that Oregon’s home health care workers will now be able to opt out of union dues, though that point is far from settled.

We’ll dig in to this topic today with Jill Gibson. Thursday, we’ll hear from Heather Conroy, executive director of SEIU Local 503.


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