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Government Employee Freedom in the Age of Janus (Guest: Michael Schaus)

July 18, 2018

Following the Supreme Court’s monumental decision on Janus v. AFSCME, National Employee Freedom Week begins with the most freedom union employees have ever seen.

Michael Schaus, executive director for National Employee Freedom Week, joins Heartland Institute Research Fellow Jesse Hathaway to talk about his organization’s upcoming campaign. Schaus plans to educate individuals about the newly gained freedoms union employees have to opt out of union membership.

National Employee Freedom Week, Schaus says, is an annual effort to inform union employees about the freedoms they have to opt out of union membership and let them make decisions that’s best for them. This year’s National Employee Freedom Week is even more special, Schaus says, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case Janus v. AFSCME.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois government employee, finding that public sector union workers can no longer be forced to pay dues that are routinely used for partisan political purposes.

Every employee always had the right to make a decision about union membership, but the Janus case makes that clear, Schaus says.

He says the weeklong campaign is all about empowering workers by informing them of their choices, sharing alternatives that may better serve their needs and providing them with the resources needed to make the choice that’s right for them.
Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.
Jesse Hathaway is a policy advisor for budget and tax issues at The Heartland Institute. @JesseinOH