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Mark Janus v. the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that seeks to starve public-sector unions of the funding they need to provide services to members.
Under current law, public employees covered by union contracts can opt out of paying for the political activities of their unions. In fact, people can choose not to join the union at all. But because unions do so much more than political work, including negotiating contracts for pay raises, benefits, job protections and more that benefit all workers, states may pass collective bargaining laws that require all public employees at unionized workplaces to contribute their fair share toward those costs. Those who choose not to join the union must pay so-called “agency fees.”
The Janus case threatens this 40-year-old legal precedent. A ruling barring the collection of agency fees would be the culmination of a decades-long, coordinated campaign by conservative groups to debilitate unions, one of the few remaining strong advocates for workers in the political arena.
Learn more about the implications of the Janus case for UFT members.
"Here's what happened to teachers after Wisconsin gutted its unions," CNN Money, Nov. 17, 2017
Along with diminished leverage with school boards, teachers have seen lower pay, reduced pension and health insurance benefits and higher turnover as educators hop from one district to another in search of raises, a new report finds.
"Unions will face a tough challenge when the Supreme Court says 'yes!' to freeloaders," Chicago Tribune, Oct. 5, 2017
But whatever nomenclature you prefer and whatever reason workers have for not contributing — ideological conviction or thrift — those who accept the benefits of organized labor but don’t chip in to earn and maintain them are parasites.
"Huge Stakes for Teachers as Fees Case Reaches High Court," Education Week, Sept. 29, 2017
Various members of the court's conservative bloc have been signaling in several decisions since 2012 that they would like to overrule Abood.
"12 Things You Should Know About Janus vs. AFSCME," Inside Sources, Oct. 19, 2017
Janus v. AFSCME could become one of the most influential labor-related lawsuits in the country’s history. It touches upon fundamental federal laws that have shaped how Americans have worked throughout modern history.