It is no surprise that the Supreme Court has announced it will hear the case of Janus vs. AFSCME. This case is nothing more than a crusade to weaken unions by people with a lot of money. Their goal remains taking away rights, benefits, and pay from hard working Americans.
Regardless of this case, CSEA will do what we have always done: have conversations about what it means to stand together. If the Supreme Court decides to change 40 years of THEIR own precedent, we will work that much harder to make sure working people have the freedom to negotiate for everything they deserve so they can continue to provide for their families.
Janus aims to take away the freedom of – and opportunity for – working people to join together in strong unions to speak up for themselves, their families and their communities. CSEA has played a critical role in building and protecting working families in New York. CSEA provides hard working people economic stability for their families and gives them the tools to build a good life, home and education for themselves and their children.
The CEOs and corporate special interests behind this case simply do not believe that working people should have the same freedoms and opportunities as they do. This case was brought to manipulate the Supreme Court into satisfying blatantly political goals. In a 10-page State Policy Network (SPN) fundraising letter reported in The Guardian, SPN President and CEO Tracie Sharp wrote that the goal of their Koch-backed network’s $80 million campaign was to “defund and defang” unions.
We expect a Spring 2018 argument with a decision likely on or about June 30, 2018. In all likelihood, agency fees in the public sector will be declared unconstitutional, effective immediately (essentially July 1, 2018, if the decision is June 30th).
- Unions are responsible for higher wages for both union and nonunion workers.
- Unions are more important than ever – and Americans know it. New Gallup research shows that more than 3 in 5 Americans have a favorable view of labor unions. That’s the highest level in nearly 15 years – and support is even stronger among young people.
- When union membership is high, entire communities enjoy wages that represent a fair return on their work and greater social and economic mobility. And unions use their collective voice to advocate for policies that benefit all working people – like increases to the minimum wage, affordable health care, and great public schools.
- Unions provide a path to the middle class for working people by increasing their income and the economic security of their families. As union membership has decreased because of attacks on working people, income inequality has risen in the U.S.
- Through collective bargaining, members of strong unions are scoring victories that help entire communities – like safer health care staffing levels that help patients and smaller classroom sizes that help students.
- Strong unions advocate for equal opportunity for groups of people who have been systematically disadvantaged due to discrimination and prejudice
- Across the country, more than half of African-American workers and nearly 60 percent of Latino workers are paid less than $15 per hour.
- Union jobs have historically been and continue to be a path to the middle class for people of color, who often face low wages in their professions. African-American union members today earn 14.7% more – and Latino union workers 21.8% more – than their nonunion counterparts.
- African-American women in unions earn an average of $21.90 an hour while nonunion women earn $17.04. In addition, more than 72% of women in unions have health insurance, while less than 50% of nonunion African-American women do.
- When Latinos are members of a union, their median weekly income increases by more than 38% and, in some cases, are 41% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance.
- Because unions allow all workers to join together to negotiate with their employers for fair wages and benefits, the wage gap between women and men in unions is dramatically lower than in nonunion workplaces – about 9 cents and shrinking. Meanwhile, most nonunion women still earn 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.
- In 1977, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the Abood precedent, which has effectively governed labor relations between public employers and employees for four decades.
- Each individual public service worker chooses whether or not to join a union, but the union is still required by law to represent and negotiate on behalf of all public service workers – members and nonmembers alike. To accommodate this requirement, Abood confirmed the historical practice of permitting employers and unions to negotiate contracts that provided for payment of fair share fees by nonmembers who receive the benefit of representation.
- The simple truth is that no one is forced to join a union and no one is forced to pay any fees that go to politics or political candidates. That is already the law of the land. Nothing in this case will change that.
- Needlessly uprooting the Abood precedent would immediately disrupt and could void current negotiated contracts, putting a strain on local budgets, and would force employers to divert personnel away from the efficient delivery of services to renegotiating labor contracts.
- Strong and fully funded unions provide needed research, innovation and guidance on rules, regulations, safety and best practices that enable employers to save money and deliver services more efficiently.
- When employers reach an agreement with unions, there is confidence that the solutions agreed upon will be embraced by employees. Having a professional negotiating partner means we can reach agreements that we know will have accountability to taxpayers and employees.
- Employers and taxpayers should be free to negotiate and dictate the terms and parameters of their own personnel management and labor relations, taking into consideration local needs and concerns.
- First responders like EMS and 911 dispatchers, law enforcement and safety personnel often speak up through their unions to ensure safe staffing levels; adequate equipment and training are available to improve service and emergency response times to keep our communities safe.