Impacted by Union Officials’ Strike Order
Rutgers employees can legally attend work regardless of union boss demands to strike
New Brunswick, NJ (April 13, 2023) – Today, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has issued a special legal notice to professors and other employees of Rutgers University. The notice was issued to inform Rutgers employees of their individual rights during the union official-ordered strike currently taking place.
The legal notice is available at the Foundation’s website: https://www.nrtw.org/legal-notice/legal-notice-rutgers04122023/
On the morning of Monday, April 10, union officials from three Rutgers unions ordered a strike against the university. The officials were from the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union (RAFU); Rutgers American Association of University Professors, American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT); and Rutgers American Association of University Professors, Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey (AAUP-BHSNJ).
The legal notice explains that, despite the lack of Right to Work protections in the state of New Jersey, non-union public sector workers still have rights under the First Amendment to abstain from union financial support. These rights are bolstered by the 2018 Foundation-won Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court ruling.
“The United States Supreme Court has held that nonmembers of a public-sector union have a First Amendment right not to pay any union fees or dues, unless they have freely waived their First Amendment rights,” the notice reads. “A union has the burden of proving employees waived their First Amendment rights by ‘clear and compelling’ evidence.”
In regards to union members, the Foundation’s notice informs workers that they maintain the right to resign from union membership at any time. The notice also suggests, if employees wish to continue working during the strike and avoid union discipline such as fines, that current union members resign their union membership at least one full day before returning to work.
“It is Foundation attorneys’ best legal opinion that public sector employees have the right to resign their membership in a union at any time. At least two federal district courts have reached that conclusion,” mentions the notice. “If you are now a union member and want to work during the strike, you should seriously consider resigning your union membership at least one day, if not more, BEFORE you return to work during the strike.”
“By initiating a strike that affects thousands of Rutgers employees, these union bosses are not only threatening the education of students, but are also potentially upending the livelihoods of countless families,” commented National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix. “Rutgers professors should know that they have the right to reject union boss strike orders and can continue working.”
“Unfortunately union misinformation and intimidation tactics are all too common during union boss-ordered strikes, which is why rank-and-file Rutgers employees must be on alert and should immediately contact the Foundation for free legal aid if they believe union officials may be violating their legal rights,” added Mix.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in around 250 cases nationwide per year. Its web address is www.nrtw.org.