Wisconsin Professional Police Association

Serving Wisconsin's Finest Since 1932

Notice to WPPA Members Regarding the Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Union Dues

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that may impact you and your ability to receive services from the WPPA. The purpose of this notice is to explain this development and how it might affect you and your families.


The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision:

In the case of Janus v. AFSCME, the Court determined that a public employee member of a union can choose not to pay union dues, despite the fact that the employee is covered under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated and protected by a union. This ruling takes effect immediately, and it impacts every public employee in the United States, including law enforcement officers, despite what is otherwise provided under Wisconsin law or your contract.


This decision may impact your eligibility to receive services through the WPPA.

While law enforcement officers are accustomed to having their actions evaluated under a microscope and held to an extremely high standard of conduct (whether on duty or not), never before have officers been the subject of such extraordinary scrutiny on the part of politicians, the news media, and the general public.

Whether it’s in our ability to effectively represent members on a 24/7 basis in the immediate wake of critical incidents (such as officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, and pursuit or squad-related incidents), to negotiate and enforce the terms of your employment and to safeguard the job protections upon which you and your families rely, or in our advocacy on legislative proposals that impact your ability to do your jobs, the WPPA has established a wide variety of services to benefit law enforcement officers in Wisconsin. As a result, the WPPA’s membership has consistently continued to grow.

While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision now allows you to refuse to pay union dues to the WPPA if you so choose, it is extremely important that you are informed as to how that choice would impact you.


If you continue to pay dues…

If you continue to pay your dues to the WPPA, you will not experience any changes to the services that you receive, and you will never pay more for those services than the monthly dues amount. If, however, the WPPA determines that too many of the officers employed by your department have refused to pay dues, we will withdraw as your local association’s representative, and all of the officers working for your department will lose the ability to have the WPPA assist them in any matter involving their employment. 


If you choose not to pay dues, you will no longer be eligible for the following services:

 

  1. Legal representation for critical incidents. Through its 24/7 emergency hotline, the WPPA regularly provides legal representation to its members at all hours of the day and night for events like officer-involved shootings, use-of-force confrontations, squad accidents, and in-custody deaths. Effectively immediately, these legal services will not be provided to an officer that has ceased paying dues to the WPPA.

 

  1. Legal representation for most disciplinary matters. The WPPA frequently provides legal representation to members facing disciplinary charges before local bodies, such as police and fire commissions, or “PFCs.”   Due to the fact that PFC proceedings are provided pursuant to statute and not by contract, the WPPA will no longer provide legal representation to non-dues paying officers that are brought before a PFC.

 

  1. Death Benefit: Currently, the WPPA issues an immediate death benefit in the amount of $5,000 to the family of an officer that dies during their membership period. This benefit will cease for any officers that have not maintained the dues obligation to the WPPA.

The following chart more fully identifies the services that will no longer be available to officers that do not pay WPPA dues:

WPPA Individual Legal Services & Benefits

Full-Service Members

(those paying dues)

Free-Riders

(officers that choose not to pay dues)

24/7 Critical Incident Representation

YES

NO

Disciplinary Representation

YES

NO

Public Relations Representation

YES

NO

Consultation & Advice on Worker’s Compensation Issues

YES

NO

Consultation & Advice on Duty-Disability Issues

YES

NO

$5,000 Death Benefit

YES

NO

Consultation & Advice on Pension-Related Issues & Retirement Benefit Disputes

YES

NO

WPPA Calendar

YES

NO

Ability to enroll in the WPPA Extended Legal Protection Plan (ELPP)

YES

NO

While officers that do not pay dues will likely lose benefits and protections in addition to the services identified above, this notice intends to highlight those changes likely to impact officers the most.

The WPPA has proudly represented Wisconsin’s law enforcement community since 1932, and our expertise in the matters that directly affect you and your families is unparalleled. While we anticipate that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision will detrimentally impact many general employee unions across the country, we are confident that our members appreciate the important role that the WPPA plays in fighting to protect you and your rights when you need us the most. Nonetheless, we wanted to be completely upfront with you regarding this noteworthy court decision and how it could affect you.

In the event you have any questions, please feel free to contact your WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer at or Director of Membership Services Gary Anderson at .

Thank you.