In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, a new approach to financing unions called “direct reimbursement” is gaining traction with Democratic politicians, academics, and even the New York Times editorial board.
It boils down to this: rather than public sector workers paying dues, their government employer would pay an equivalent amount directly to the union.
Proponents claim this approach will neutralize the impact of the Janus decision and shore up union budgets.
The idea has legs. New York’s most senior Democratic Assemblyman Richard Gottfried is sponsoring a bill to allow public sector unions to negotiate this scheme into their contracts. Hawaii is entertaining a version too.
Backed into a corner and fearful for the future, some unions might jump at this quick fix. It’s a big mistake.