SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Education Association (IEA) worked alongside several unions to pass Senate Bill 1784 (SB 1784) to help protect the privacy of public employees, affirm collective bargaining rights and to clarify dues deduction procedures. SB 1784 passed both legislative chambers and now heads to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk for his signature. This legislation is a victory for all union members and public employees in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which overturned 40 years of settled collective bargaining law.
“This is about protecting union members’ rights in Illinois. We have the right to organize. We have the right to use our collective voice to advocate for our students, our schools and our communities. Thank you to our lawmakers for recognizing our seat at the table should be protected,” IEA President Kathi Griffin said.
SB 1784 will reaffirm several workplace rights for employees by:
- Protecting public employees’ personal information: For both working and retired employees, employers will be prohibited from the disclosing an employee’s personal choice to pay union dues, belong to retiree organizations or other voluntary associations, to any third party.
- Affirming collective bargaining rights:
- This bill requires employers to provide collective bargaining representatives with up-to-date information on bargaining-unit employees, including current contact information and job titles, as well as timely information on new hires.
- SB 1784 also will ensure collective bargaining representatives have the right to meet with new bargaining-unit employees and to communicate through worksite channels with all represented employees.
- Clarifying dues deduction procedures: The Janus decision created uncertainty and confusion for public employees, their unions and employers regarding dues authorization, revocation and potential liability. SB1784 stabilizes and clarifies those procedures within the scope permitted by the Janus ruling. It will:
- Allow authorization of dues deductions by written or electronic means.
- Allow employees to voluntarily agree to reasonable limits on revocation of such authorization, in accordance with established federal law and long-established practice in the private sector.
- Reaffirm that the dues and fair share fee collection procedures in effect prior to the Janus decision were consistent with the pre-Janus established law and limit retroactive liability for employers and collective bargaining representatives.
“We’re very pleased we could come together and work with organized labor from across the state. The anti-union groups behind the Janus case were attempting to destroy unions in our country, but the exact opposite is happening. Our members are banding together and our collective voice is louder than ever before,” Griffin said.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.