By Associated Press - Friday, April 24, 2015

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma Corrections Professionals Association has filed a lawsuit against the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services over plans to stop allowing its members to pay dues by payroll deduction.

The Oklahoman ( ) reports the state informed the association March 16 of their plans to halt the deductions, citing the association’s failure to meet the 2,000 member requirement dictated by state statute. According to a spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, the group currently has 874 association employees claiming the payroll deduction.

Association executive director Sean Wallace says budget cuts and force reductions dropped the group’s membership count.

The association argues the numerical requirement is unconstitutional because it doesn’t apply to every organization, just ones that started receiving state voluntary payroll deduction services after Jan. 1, 2008. Association members also object to being limited by law to only having current state employees as members, while other employee associations are allowed to have retired and honorary members.

The lawsuit also claims the Oklahoma Public Employees Association pushed to freeze their ability to collect dues in an effort to eliminate competition.

“OPEA has no interest in any of that,” said Tom Dunning, OPEA’s communications coordinator. “We have enough work trying to take care of state employees without worrying about other organizations. … We didn’t push for any groups to have or not have their payroll deduction.”

The association filed the lawsuit April 10 in Cleveland County District.


Information from: The Oklahoman,

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