The Buckeye Institute’s Third Case to End Forced Union Exclusive Representation Heard in Maine Federal District Court Today

Nov 07, 2018

Columbus, OH – Robert Alt, The Buckeye Institute’s president and chief executive officer, issued the following statement after today’s hearing in Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, et al. The Buckeye Institute is representing Jonathan Reisman in his case to end forced exclusive representation.

“Professor Reisman values and understands the importance of unions, and is proud to have served as his own union’s grievance officer until recently. Unfortunately, Maine law forces him to also accept the representation of the Maine Education Association and the National Education Association to which he objects,” said Robert Alt, The Buckeye Institute’s president and chief executive officer and a lead attorney on the case. “Professor Reisman can end his membership in these unions, but cannot end their exclusive representation of him nor can he escape their speaking for him. With today’s hearing, Professor Reisman has begun the long legal fight asking the courts to recognize his First Amendment rights.”

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. Buckeye is representing Professor Jonathan Reisman in Maine, Jade Thompson in Ohio, and Professor Kathy Uradnik in Minnesota.

Jonathan Reisman’s case was filed on August 10 in the United States District Court for the District of Maine with a preliminary injunction motion filed on August 16.

Reisman (watch a video of him telling his story below and read his opinion piece in the Portland Press Herald), is an associate professor of economics and public policy at the University of Maine at Machias who served as the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine’s (AFUM) grievance officer for the Machias campus. While Professor Reisman would have liked to remain a member of his local union, if he did so, he would be forced to also support the state and national unions with which AFUM affiliates—the Maine Education Association and the National Education Association—unions which hold opposing views on a wide range of political and public policy issues. Under Maine law, Reisman still has no alternative but to continue to accept AFUM’s representation and the collective bargaining agreement that governs significant terms of his employment, such as workload, office hours, the grievance process, wages, benefits, retirement, and leaves of absence.

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