Alaska Governor Advances Worker Freedom with “Opt-In” Announcement: All pre-existing due authorizations will soon be void
Yesterday, Alaska Governor Michael Dunleavy issued an administrative order calling on the state Department of Administration (DOA) to develop an opt-in program for state employees and their unions. This program will allow unionized state employees to decide if they want union dues deducted from their paychecks, which would be revocable at any time. Once the authentication system is operational in about 6-8 weeks, all pre-existing dues authorization forms will be void, employees will be “out,” and they will be required to use the system to grant permission for dues deduction.
This latest action follows Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson’s opinion issued last month announcing the state may no longer collect union dues from public employees unless they provide explicit consent to do so. Last week, the state of Alaska filed a lawsuit against the Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA) to clarify the legality behind the state’s decision.
Today’s administrative order will help bring the state into compliance. Employees will be able to use the system with maximum flexibility to opt-in or out at will, and the change will be reflected within 30 days for the next pay period.
Alaska is a strong example for other states to follow. Workers for Opportunity commends Gov. Dunleavy for continuing to stand up for worker rights. This administrative order puts the Janus v. AFSCME ruling into action, codifying First Amendment protections for public employees.