Rauner Expects Illinois Fair Share Case Fight To Reach U.S. Supreme Court

Gov. Bruce Rauner at an AutoZone distribution facility in Danville

Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks Tuesday at an AutoZone distribution facility in Danville

Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

Unions landed a victory Tuesday: A tie at the U.S. Supreme Court on a case perceived as do-or-die for public employee unions means current rules will remain in place. But Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he'll continue to try to ban so-called "fair share" fees. 

Say a worker doesn't want to be in a union. He or she don't have to be. They still benefit from the union's efforts -- they're covered by a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement, covers wages, vacation time.

That's the thought, anyway, behind a requirement that makes non-union workers pay "fair share" or "agency fees."

Rauner -- a Republican -- called the Supreme Court action "tragic." He says everything a public union does is political by nature.

"This is a very big issue. It's an issue of freedom of speech, and freedom of political voice," he said. "No American should be forced to fund an organization that they disagree with politically, that should not be the case."

Rauner supports a lawsuit filed by a trio of state employees who don't want to be in a union, and don't want to pay any fair share dues.

"It doesn't change our plans. I am a believer that that Supreme Court decisions -- it ended up being a split 4-4 -- if Justice Scalia were alive, he made it pretty clear he supported the freedom of government employees to choose," he said.

He says he expects that case will be the next to reach the nation's high court. By then, he says, he hopes there will be a full bench of nine justices who can settle the issue for good. Illinois' federal suit has been on hold pending the outcome of the California case.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio