Court strikes down ban on payroll deductions for NCAE dues

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner has held that the state’s prohibition of a payroll deduction by the North Carolina Association of Educators to collect dues from its members is unconstitutional.

In an order entered on Dec. 18, 2012, Gessner permanently enjoined enforcement of that ban, saying that it “constitutes retaliatory viewpoint discrimination” in violation of Article 1, Section 14 of the state constitution.

Gov. Beverly Perdue had vetoed the bill establishing that prohibition in July 2011, saying that it targeted the NCAE since other groups were not similarly banned from collecting dues through payroll deductions.

But in January 2012, after failing to override Perdue’s veto of the Racial Justice Act repeal, Republicans announced a 12:45 a.m. session at which they overrode her veto of the NCAE bill.

According to media reports, the Republican-led legislature had adopted the ban after the NCAE ran ads attacking Democrats who sided with Republicans in last year’s state budget battle.

Party leaders denied that the measure was politically motivated, but in a private caucus meeting that was inadvertently broadcast to the press room, House Speaker Thom Tillis said, ““The reason we’re doing it is because the NCAE has gone into all five districts with mailers hammering these Democrats. It’s just a little taste of what’s to come.”

NCAE President Rodney Ellis said in a statement that the group was extremely pleased with the decision, “especially the court’s recognition that our members have a constitutional right to express their views on issues important to the education community. Standing up for those views is the very reason NCAE initiated this lawsuit.”

 

8 Comments

  1. Frank Burns

    January 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    It would seem to me that the way to fix this is to not allow any group to collect dues from state employees.

  2. PAW

    January 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    One-by-one, the courts seem to be telling the right-wing, extremist Republican majority that their mindless ideology will not be accepted as law in NC.

  3. Frances Jenkins

    January 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    The leftist have ruined us and they use the nonprofit system of our tax dollars to further their agenda.My tax dollar should not be used to deduct union or professional dues. It is plain wrong.

  4. JeffS

    January 4, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Yet again the right is faced with the illegality of their prejudicial actions. And once again, rather than reflect on that illegality, they will huddle up to find a way to skirt the letter of the law.

    Go ahead. Pull the meager benefit from the republican voting law enforcement employees. When they complain explain that it’s ok because at least you’re pissing the teachers off. If Republicans believed that we shouldn’t provide the service at all, that is the legislation they would have passed the first time.

    Don’t, however, pretend to care about appropriate use of your tax dollars when you would choose to have the entire assembly micromanage state payroll practice. Or perhaps wasting tax dollars is ok as long as it’s out of spite?

  5. Frank Burns

    January 4, 2013 at 6:22 am

    It is not appropriate for the state payroll system to serve as an intermediary for collecting dues for any organization. This process needs to be stopped as soon as possible. State employees can mail a check if they choose to pay dues to any organization. This is ridiculous, why was this ever done?

  6. James Protzman

    January 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

    The new Pope administration, enabled by Tillis and Berger, is well on track to set a new record for corruption and incompetence.

  7. Frances Jenkins

    January 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    James is a complete ass.

  8. david esmay

    January 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Frances is completely ASSinine.