First High-Profile Case to End Forced Union Exclusive Representation Was Heard Today in Minnesota Federal District Court

Sep 20, 2018

Columbus, OH – Robert Alt, The Buckeye Institute’s president and chief executive officer, issued the following statement after the preliminary injunction hearing in the case Uradnik v. Inter Faculty Organization, et al. Alt is one of the lead attorneys representing Kathy Uradnik in her case to end forced exclusive representation by her union.

“The Buckeye Institute asked the court to immediately end the unfair and unconstitutional practice of exclusive representation, which forces hardworking public employees like Professor Uradnik to accept union representation they did not ask for and do not want.” Alt continued, “We look forward to Judge Paul A. Magnuson’s ruling, but make no mistake—win or lose—this is not the end of the fight, but only the beginning. For far too long, Professor Uradnik has had no alternative but to accept the forced representation of the Inter Faculty Organization—a union that has undermined her ability to advance in her career and routinely interferes with her professional opportunities and relationships.”

Background on The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Cases and Plaintiffs:

The Buckeye Institute was the first organization in the country to file lawsuits calling on courts to end compelled exclusive representation following the Janus decision, and is representing Professor Uradnik in Minnesota, Jade Thompson in Ohio, and Professor Jonathan Reisman in Maine.

Kathy Uradnik’s case was filed on July 6 in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, with a preliminary injunction motion filed on July 31.

Kathy Uradnik (watch a video of her telling her own story below and read her opinion piece in the St. Cloud Times) is a professor of political science at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Her union—the Inter Faculty Organization (IFO)—created a system that discriminates against non-union faculty members by barring them from serving on any faculty search, service, or governance committee, and even bars them from joining the Faculty Senate. This second-class treatment of non-union faculty members impairs their ability to obtain tenure, to advance in their careers, and to participate in the academic life and governance of their institutions.

As Kathy wrote in the St. Cloud Times, “I did not make this decision lightly. I come from a blue collar, union family with a long tradition of union membership…Regrettably, however, unions like the IFO too often ‘represent’ their members by taking advantage of and discriminating against non-members like me.”

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