Some may know (but most don't care) that I have signed on with the State Office of the Public Defender. The program went fully active on last July 1st. However, prior to becoming active, public defenders in both Missoula and Billings (who were county employees) held a vote to determine who would be the union that represents us at the state level. So, I never had a chance to vote for a union that was brought in before the enactment of my job, and now I will have to pay dues to said union. WTF?
I find it ridiculous that lawyers have unions. I am a professional, in that I exercise a skill for the best interests of my client, without regard for outside pressures. I am a member of a group that requires specialized training, and required me to pass a test and to be examined and found worthy first, in order to exercise my skills. Skills that the majority of the public are prohibited from doing.
What I want to know, though, is what in the heck is this union going to do for me? Are they going to say that I have too heavy of a caseload, and that if management doesn't reduce it we will go on strike? Let me tell you, the courts can and will impose punitive sanctions for failing to do my job, even if the union does call a strike. What about if some other union is picketing the courthouse, am I going to be allowed to cross the picket line? And if I don't who goes to jail for failure to represent my client?
As i understand it, we are supposed to be having a decertification vote next June. I can hardly wait.