By Patrick McGreevy
Jan. 19, 2018 – 3:32 p.m.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday to support mandatory union fees for public employees.

The brief was filed in opposition to the case of Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who objects to paying fees to a union that supports collective bargaining that affects him. His case is being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Becerra’s brief asserts that collective bargaining serves important state interests and that cost-sharing among employees represented by the union is an integral part of the collective bargaining system.

“Our public employees — whether teachers, firefighters, peace officers, nurses — provide critical services to Californians,” Becerra said in a statement. “We all benefit from their professional services. And these employees all benefit from union representation, regardless of whether or not they join the union.”

The state argued that the current collective bargaining system helps resolve personnel issues, and avoids inefficiency and disruption in the workplace.

“Everyone who benefits from representation should share the cost,” Becerra said. “The fees at issue … play an integral role in supporting state workplaces all across the country.”

Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) disagreed with Becerra’s position, but said the attorney general probably felt he had to take the stand “because this is a union controlled state.”

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