While this decision is one we fervently oppose, the impact on the FOP in Colorado is anticipated to be minimal. In Colorado there is no state-wide law granting public sector employees collective bargaining rights. Those rights are conferred locally. The FOP is the bargaining agent for the majority of police employees in Colorado that do have bargaining rights given by their city or county. We negotiate the best and most lucrative labor contracts of any organization in this state, and that will not change with this decision.
Of the agencies that we bargain for we only collect fair share fees in Denver SO. With the exception of Denver Sheriffs we do not collect a fair share fee from non-members for union representation. Primarily because we have nearly 100% membership in each of those other agencies where we negotiate labor contracts. In Denver we spend at least as much in legal and accounting fees collecting fair share from that small percentage of non-members than we receive in assessments.
In Colorado we are the state's largest line officer organization representing over 2/3rds of Colorado's sworn officers state-wide. The vast majority of FOP members in Colorado (union and non-union) belong to this great organization for legal defense and other important benefits that have nothing to do with being unionized. If in the unlikely event a current member drops because of this SCOTUS decision then they lose Legal Defense protection and any other benefit exclusive to membership in the FOP in Colorado regardless of whether their agency engages in collective bargaining. This SCOTUS decision has nothing to do with those particular services provided by FOP membership.
Anyone who is a FOP member in Colorado who drops will lose Legal Defense protection and any other benefits exclusive to their membership. The litigious environment we operate in, and the disciplinary systems we work under as law enforcement officers, creates a genuine need for having legal defense protection and access to attorneys who are experts in that field of law. A decision to leave membership seriously exposes an officer financially to the cost of defending oneself on criminal, civil or administrative matters.
If someone wants to lose their legal defense protection (which is not part of labor) to avoid being a member for union bargaining purposes then they have zero for brains (and probably failed math and economics in HS); then it's important they understand that non-members end up paying for their own attorneys in criminal/civil litigation or defense in an administrative disciplinary action which is far more costly for the officer than belonging to the FOP and paying dues for all of our outstanding benefits and services. And that is why most of our non-bargaining lodges have membership close to 90% or better and why we are seeing continued growth.