The Hickey case stemmed from Eric Pickles` attempt to end registration agreements in the Department of Municipalities and Local Government (DCLG). The three recognized unions PCS, Prospect and FDA received notification in mid-July 2013 of the end of the check-off agreements effective September 1, 2013. PCS asked Thompsons to send a letter to DCLG before filing a complaint and threatened to take legal action to prevent the 664 affected SCP members from being infringing. The department refused to resign. Legal proceedings were initiated and prompt proceedings were ordered on 3 September 2013. On the same day, the verdict for PCS was delivered. The December 16, 2019 decision at Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc. falls back to the long-standing standard that royalty review rules are a contractual point that applies only to the duration of the agreement and provides unionized employers with another bargaining tool. A royalty control system is only allowed if it is voluntarily authorized by a staff member. Unions have tried to make audit alternatives more difficult by imposing practices such as the in-person delivery of tax controls to out-of-state sites. However, the National Working Committee found that this type of incentive to check it is illegal, as was a union`s attempt to collect assessments that go beyond periodic levies.
As with many employer-friendly precedents, the Board of Directors, under the Obama administration, overturned this precedent and decided that the fee-checking provisions are a point that survives the expiry of the collective agreement and requires employers to continue the practice after the expiry. For more than 50 years, until 2015, the NLRB had decided that when the collective agreement expired, the fee control regime was no longer in effect and that an employer could end its practice of collecting union rights from any wage earner`s salary. This Board of Directors Act gave employers leverage in the negotiations because the unions knew that once the contract was passed, they would face a challenge in maintaining their source of income. Checkoff is controversial for two reasons: first, the agreement promotes the safety of trade unions by bureaucratically stabilizing the revenue streams of trade unions and is therefore not accepted by anti-union workers and their allies. Second, the association between fee control and agency fees – where all employees of a collective agreement unit must pay a service fee equivalent to ordinary union rights, whether they are unionized or non-unionized – has attracted opposition from both workers who are dissatisfied with their unions and from outside the union. The separate non-participation clause of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1996 [2 USC 441b] distinguishes between contributions assessed by unions to cover the costs of collective bargaining and contractual services and funds – often identified as levies on political training commissions (COPE), which unions, separated from members, seek direct contributions from candidates , look for polling stations. Both types of levies can be collected by cheque, but are not to be taken. In the current political climate, where unions are still under threat, some employers may see the termination of walkout agreements as a means of attacking trade unions and reducing union membership in their workplaces. We recognize that many unions already rely, in whole or primarily, on the deduction of direct debit subscriptions to avoid this threat.
Where inspection rules exist, unions may review the contractual position to decide what additional steps they must take to defend their position in these workplaces.