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Missouri stops withholding union dues for prison guards, service workers

Missouri Corrections Officers Association and State of Missouri seals
ABC 17 News


The state of Missouri has stopped withholding union dues from the bi-monthly paychecks of prison guards in what the union’s grievance officer calls a “pitiful attempt to bankrupt” the labor organization.

Gary Gross, executive director of the Missouri Correctional Officers Association, told ABC 17 News the Missouri Office of Administration made the change Dec. 9.

The move has left the association with a funding shortfall as it negotiates a new contract with the state for 5,000-plus guards and sergeants.

"Our people have been stepping up and our attorneys are looking into whether any laws were broken," Gross told ABC 17 News Friday.

The change also affect bargaining units of the Service Employees International Union and the Communication Workers of America.

The Office of Administration cites a request by the CWA to resume union dues deductions and a recent request by the local SEIU unit to increase it's member's withholdings as the reason it decided to review and ultimately change its practice.

A letter sent to SEIU Local 1 on Dec 9. from the Office of Administration said the current method of withholding dues did not meet the standard set forth in a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision which ruled that consent for the withholding of union dues must be, "freely given and shown by clear and compelling evidence."

The MoCOA union and the state have been negotiating a new contract for over a year, since the old one expired in September 2018.

MoCOA members are working under the terms of the old contract.

Governor of Missouri / Missouri / Missouri Politics / Politics / Top Stories / Top Stories / Video

Joe McLean

Joe reports stories all across mid-Missouri, including our WasteBusters series of reports, and co-anchors ABC 17 News at 9 a.m. with Zara Barker.



  1. Why is the state acting as a bank for a union? Why don’t the unions just collect the money directly from their members? Rhetorical question; if the membership had to cut a check every month to the union, the union would go broke. A broke union means that union “leaders” can’t afford Caddy’s and vacation homes.

    1. How is refusing to act as the bank for non profit a “union busting” action by the state? Please enlighten me. Explain how it is in service of the state and citizens to collect money for a cabal which uses the threat of disruption to achieve their goals which are often against the public good.
      Give that a shot Skippy.

  2. Show me a law in any state where any employer, private or public entity, can be compelled to collect dues for unions or any other fees for an employee service organization and then require that employer to tender those fees to the organization.

    Now, if the employer made collection and did not tender the funds that could be construed as fraud or another crime. But, to refuse to withhold such fees from employee pay? I don’t see it.

    Personally, the employees should pay their own dang fees and dues. Let them send in the money, themselves. For that matter, let them be responsible for sending in their own income and payroll taxes. Maybe then they’ll start understanding what’s coming out.

    I have to pay my own fees to flight instructor organizations. Should I have demanded a private employer withhold and submit them for me when I was still working for a flight school? No, never.

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