A conservative North Texas county will no longer deduct union dues from employees’ paychecks, implementing a grassroots GOP policy goal that Republicans at the state level have failed to deliver.
Collin County commissioners, all Republicans, adopted the new policy during their November 14 meeting:
The Collin County Commissioners Court hereby adopts a policy authorizing the payroll department to deduct only benefit related costs from employees’ paychecks. This change will be effective with the pay period beginning November 14, 2022.
Texas is one of only a handful of states that collects union dues from the paychecks of its public employees.
Collin officials say employees are free to participate in outside associations, but the county will no longer act as a dues collection agency.
“We aren’t stopping anyone from contributing to those organizations that provide valuable representation,” Collin County Commissioner Darrell Hale told Texas Scorecard. “Those that feel they are getting their money’s worth can go ahead and donate.”
The county’s new policy aligns with the Republican Party of Texas platform, which calls for the state to “prohibit governmental entities from collecting dues for labor unions through deductions from public employee paychecks.”
During the 2017 legislative session, both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick prioritized eliminating government collection of union dues. Yet Republican lawmakers failed to end the practice, despite controlling the Texas House and Senate.
In 2019, the Texas GOP made the issue a top legislative priority, pushing lawmakers to “end the automatic payroll deduction of union dues by the government,” but not a single lawmaker even filed a bill on the issue.
Last year, Republican lawmakers again ignored the GOP grassroots’ policy goal.
Local officials in Collin County delivered where Republicans at the state level have failed.