Hutchison Comments on Union Representation Fees

Professor Harry Hutchison commented on annual representation fees required of nonmembers of public sector unions under the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, which can be assessed at up to 85% of the regular membership dues, fees and assessments.

Hutchison explained that the rationale behind such laws, which are implemented throughout the country, is that nonmembers still derive a benefit from the union's activities.

"The free rider problem is the crux of the argument for requiring nonmembers to pay labor union dues," he said, adding that the fees are common for both public- and private-sector employees.

Chris Christie claims nonmembers of the NJEA must pay 85 percent of annual dues, The Star-Ledger PolitiFact, April 5, 2012. By Bill Wichert.

"Under the New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act, nonmembers of public-sector unions could be required to pay as much as 85 percent 'of the regular membership dues, fees and assessments.' These representation fees are set up through an agreement with the employer or via a petition to the state’s Public Employment Relations Commission.

"In New Jersey, most public-sector unions have obtained the right to collect representation fees, said Don Horowitz, counsel to the commission’s appeal board. Unless the union no longer represents the employees, representation fees must be paid every year, Horowitz told us."

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