Spooked by the imminent prospect of losing mandatory dues from bargaining unit employees, widely anticipated in the soon-to-be announced Janus case, California government employee unions have hauled out some of their most ambitious countermeasures to date and are rushing them through the legislature.

SB 866 would cement union control over access to individual employee decisions on whether to continue paying union dues, should mandatory agency fees be deemed unconstitutional. The bill calls for an appropriation, which qualifies it as a budget trailer bill—another example of the misuse of the process.

Key elements of the bill include:

If signed by Governor Brown, the measure would take effect immediately.

In essence, legislative Democrats are using a hurry-up process to place unions in the shoes of employers to certify that a dues deduction is approved or revoked, and in the shoes of employees as far as communicating that decision to the employer. Further, unions would be guaranteed equal access to employees for purposes of exhortation, while the public would be excluded even from the knowledge that such a meeting is occurring.

California employers work hard to develop trusting and respectful relationships with their workers. And if an employer breaks that trust, the state of California (and a regiment of plaintiffs’ lawyers) is there to ensure any abuse is remedied. The State of California as an employer should not abdicate its fiduciary and management responsibilities to its employees’ and their understandable interest in pay and deductions.