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July 15, 2018

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Updated: Jul. 15 (20:55)

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Official Website Of The Pennsylvania State Lodge Fraternal Order Of Police

Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the Fraternal Order of Police, which was formed in Pittsburgh in 1915.  The Pennsylvania State Lodge was established on July 24, 1934, and currently represents nearly 40,000 law enforcement members from Pennsylvania.  The State Lodge works tirelessly on behalf of its membership providing member assistance, educational programs, public service, and by advocating on their behalf for legislation to enhance their safety and security as well as that of the public.  The State Lodge has 107 subordinate lodges across the Commonwealth, and represents law enforcement officers from many different types of police agencies.  We welcome you to our website and hope you enjoy the information provided here.

Janus v. AFSCME

On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME.  Not surprisingly given the makeup of the Court, in a 5 to 4 decision the Court overturned its own precedent that had stood for over 40 years.  It ruled that it was unconstitutional for state and municipal governments to enter into collective bargaining agreements that require employees who refuse to belong to the union that represents them to pay a fee to the union.  The basis for the decision is that to require an employee to pay a fee to a union that advances positions in collective bargaining that the employee may not agree with, such as a wage increase, violate s that employee’s right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment of the U.S Constitution.  (Yes, you read that correctly.)

                Many states, including Pennsylvania, have adopted “fair share” legislation.  Such legislation provides that if the public employer and the union that represents its employees set forth a fair share provision in the collective bargaining agreement, non-members must pay that fair share fee.   The amount of such fee is equal to the union expenditures used for collective bargaining and representation.   It is, therefore, an amount almost always less than the full union dues that members pay.  That is now prohibited. 

What does this mean for lodges? The answer depends upon the status of the lodge.  If the lodge is not the bargaining representative, it has no effect. For lodges and police associations that are the bargaining unit representative, the lodge/association cannot charge non-members a fee of any type. But the lodge/association still has the duty to represent such “free riders” in the same manner as members who pay a fee. The Court did note that it may be acceptable for unions to charge a non-member a fee for representing him in a grievance that affects only him, such as a discharge grievance.  The Court provided no guidance on this issue.

What about FOP member benefits, such as the Legal Defense Plan? Since that benefit is not a collectively bargained benefit but one available only to members of the FOP, the decision has no effect on such “member only” benefits.  Non-members have no right to the benefit and lodges have no duty to offer the benefit. 

What action should a lodge or police association that acts as the bargaining agent take?  As to members, no action is needed.  Likewise, as to fair share members, no action is required.   As to employers, it is recommended that, if not done already, notice should be provided to the employer that remits a fair share fee to the lodge or association that it cease doing so immediately and that if such fee deduction has been taken from a fair share member’s paycheck on or after June 26, 2018, it be returned to the non-member and not remitted to the lodge or association.


Les Neri, President

PA FOP, State Lodge

Janus Decision

Download: PR - Janus Decision.pdf

HARRISBURG, Pa. (June 21, 2018) – Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Les Neri today issued the following statement regarding the shooting in East Pittsburgh.

"Law enforcement is a very dangerous profession. Police officers never know when rapidly evolving situations will lead them to the use of deadly force.  When these encounters occur, everyone must resist a dangerous rush to judgement that only serves to cause more injury, division and heartbreak. We owe it to all involved, the time and resources for a proper and thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances that led to the use of that force. We must allow the criminal justice system to do its work. Every citizen, even law enforcement officers, must be given due process and presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."

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