College, labor organization clash over right to payroll deduction

By John Suayan | Apr 28, 2017

HOUSTON – A local community college system is the target of a lawsuit over a labor organization’s right to pay professional dues through payroll deduction.

HOUSTON – A local community college system is the target of a lawsuit over a labor organization’s right to pay professional dues through payroll deduction.

AFT-Lone Star College and its president, Alan Hall, sued Lone Star College and Chancellor Stephen C. Head in the Harris County 189th District Court on Apr. 27.

The suit explains that LSC employees have the option of deducting the dues from their paychecks, stating they have used the deductions for membership in AFT for nearly a decade.

Hall, a professor at LSC North Harris, himself elected to have his AFT dues docked from his pay. Last month, he reportedly received an e-mail announcing that the institution would no longer make the deductions effective May 1, 2017.

“The e-mail incorrectly stated that the termination of dues deduction was at AFT’s request,” the original petition says.

According to court papers, AFT informed the defendants that it did not call for the cancelation. They further argue while some members were switching to another system of paying dues and offered to work with LSC on a smooth transition, cancelation was never requested.

The school was initially was open to resolve the issue with AFT, but later decided not to perform the correction. It is allegedly on track to cancel dues deduction at the start of May.

Harris County District Court records show that the complainants obtained a temporary restraining order.

Attorney Martha P. Owen of the law firm Deats, Durst & Owen, P.L.L.C. in Austin serves as the plaintiffs’ lead counsel.

Harris County 189th District Court Case No. 2017-28078

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