Following a crucial ruling by the US Supreme Court, there has been a notable increase in city employees opting to renounce their union memberships.
A recent analysis conducted by The City, a non-profit news organization, has unveiled a doubling in the number of workers opting out of paying union dues, with the decline in dues deduction outpacing the overall workforce reduction in the City.
Between 2018 and 2022, the number of city employees having their union dues deducted from their paychecks dropped by nearly 8 percent.
This rate of decline surpassed the 5.1% reduction in the City’s workforce over the same period, marking a substantial shift in labor union dynamics.
This surge in workers leaving their unions is in response to a pivotal 5-4 decision by the conservative justices of the Supreme Court, which effectively made it easier for employees to choose whether or not to contribute to union dues.
The ruling, issued in 2018, overturned a previous requirement for employees covered by a union contract to pay dues.
Notable union organizations, such as the Police Benevolent Association and the union representing professors, staff, and part-time instructors at the City University of New York system, have seen significant declines in their membership.
Shifts in NYC Labor Unions Post-2018 Supreme Court Ruling
The Police Benevolent Association experienced a decrease of 3,100 members, even though the number of police officers shrank by just 1,300.
For the union representing City University of New York system employees, membership plummeted from 61% of eligible part-time employees to just 51%.
This decline has been attributed to high turnover rates among the part-time teaching staff.
The city’s analysis concluded that union membership among municipal employees has declined by nearly 8 percent despite a 5.1 percent reduction in the City’s workforce.
It is important to note that the city’s largest municipal labor union, District Council 37, could not be accurately assessed due to its diverse job classifications.
This trend of workers opting out of paying union dues comes five years after the 2018 Supreme Court ruling, which gave employees the right to decide on their union membership and dues contributions.
An initial report in 2019 revealed that, following the verdict, 11,000 city workers had chosen to discontinue paying their union dues.
The city’s workforce, excluding employees of the Housing Authority and the Health and Hospitals Corporation, totals approximately 330,000 employees, highlighting the broad impact of these membership shifts within labor unions across the City.
Source: The New York Post