Judge Halts Dues Change

Special Report - January 7, 2012

A Wake County judge has halted implementation of a recently-passed bill that would prevent the voluntary automatic deduction of association dues from the paychecks of North Carolina public school employees for the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), while continuing to allow voluntary payroll deduction for payments to other state employees’ associations. On January 9, 2012, Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner issued a temporary restraining order preventing SB 727—An Act to Eliminate the Dues Checkoff Option for Active and Retired Public School Employees from going into effect. As we previously reported, the North Carolina House voted shortly after midnight on January 5 to finalize a legislative override of Governor Beverly Perdue’s veto of SB 727.

On January 9, the North Carolina Association of Educators filed a motion with the court, asking the judge to issue a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction that would prevent the implementation and enforcement of the law. NCAE argues in the motion that SB 727 “violates a number of procedural and substantive protections afforded by the North Carolina State Constitution.” It specifically argues that the midnight session of the General Assembly to consider the bill was unconstitutional, and that the bill “constitutes retaliatory viewpoint discrimination against … NCAE in violation of its rights to free expression and association” because NCAE is the only association whose “payroll deduction of dues” was affected by the bill.

In his ruling granting the temporary restraining order, Judge Gessner stated that, “NCAE has shown a likelihood of success on the merits,” and that “NCAE has demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of immediate injunction relief.”

Related resources:
Legislators Disallow Automatic Teacher Dues - January 6, 2012
GA Returns for Override Session - January 4, 2012
Senate Overrides Abortion Bill Veto - July 29, 2011
Legislature Musters Historic Veto Override - June 16, 2011
Perdue Vetoes Healthcare Opt-Out - March 7, 2011

Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.

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