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July 30, 2018

As Janus Era Opens, There's Good News For These 2 Unions


The Correction Officers Benevolent Association and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association were gratified by recent graduation ceremonies at which 100 percent of the new officers joined the union.

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to public-employee unions on June 27 when it ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that such organizations could not collect agency fees, or money from non-members, to underwrite even union business that does not include political action.

Unhappy Outlook

The decision was expected to set off a wave of anti-union sentiment, including drives by right-wing groups to discourage membership in public-employee unions and encourage current members to withdraw.

But all 408 new COs who graduated the Correction Academy at the end of June signed union cards, said COBA President Elias Husamudeen.

Only about half of them indicated that they come from union families, he said.

“One of them asked how as a new officer he could be helpful in dealing with Janus,” Mr. Husamudeen said. “ I said, ‘You’re doing it by paying your dues.’ ”

‘Still Going Strong’

He said the response made him optimistic about the future, even in the wake of Janus. “Unions in New York City are still going strong,” he said, “Members are still supporting their unions.”

PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said: “Every NYC police officer, including the recently-hired class, is a member of this proud and strong organization.  Those who take on the challenge of law enforcement recognize that the protection afforded by a strong, active police union is essential to their safety and survival on the job.”