Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed an agreement with a coalition of city unions Tuesday meant to counteract the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision.
In that decision last June, the court ruled public-sector workers, such as Seattle employees, can no longer be required to pay fees to unions for collective bargaining.
Calling the case part of a “continued assault” on worker rights and organized labor, the mayor at a City Hall news conference said Seattle’s new agreement will “make sure workers are protected.”
In the memorandum of understanding with more than a dozen unions, including those representing office workers, electrical workers, plumbers and police officers, the city has agreed to deduct union dues from the paychecks of employees who authorize such deductions.
In return, the unions have agreed to hold the city harmless from lawsuits related to the deductions.
The unions will be allowed to meet with new employees for at least 30 minutes during their first 30 days on the job and will be allowed to make presentations of at least 30 minutes at new-employee orientation sessions.
The city will provide the unions with new-employee information and allow employees a day of union training each year during paid working hours.
Durkan said her administration negotiated the agreement with the coalition because “strong unions … help create and preserve our middle class.”