NYC professors sue over union’s alleged antisemitism

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

Six professors at City University of New York (CUNY) filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the school’s union after it allegedly engaged in antisemitic political activities.

The plaintiffs, five out of six of whom are Jewish, argued that the labor union’s June 2021 “Resolution in Support of the Palestinian People” was “anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish, and anti-Israel,” according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW) which is providing them legal aid.

The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) union’s actions singled out the Jewish plaintiffs for hatred and harassment based on their ethnic and religious identities, according to NRTW.

The lawsuit asserts that the union forced the plaintiffs to pay union dues after they resigned their union membership in alleged violation of the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision, which bars unions from forcing government employees to fund union activities without their consent.

CUNY, the New York State Comptroller and the state’s Public Employee Relations Board are also named as defendants for their role in forcing the plaintiffs, who are not members of the union, to accept union representation.

“By forcing these professors into a union collective against their will, the state of New York mandates that they associate with union officials and other union members who take positions that are deeply offensive to these professors’ most fundamental beliefs,” said Mark Mix, president of the NRTW Legal Defense Foundation. “New York State’s Taylor Law authorizes such unconscionable compulsion.”

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