Janus vs. AFSCME: Supreme Court Decision

Read The Atlantic Article from June 27, 2018: "The Supreme Court Wednesday dealt a huge blow to public-sector unions and the labor movement in general, ruling in Janus v. AFSCME that public employees do not have to pay fees to unions to cover the costs of collective bargaining."

1.) What is Janus? Janus v. AFSCME is a politically motivated attack to use the U.S. Supreme Court to divide and conquer our union by eliminating fair share fee payments.

2.) Who Cares? Janus matters because it is part of a concerted effort to weaken our ability to collectively bargain and advocate for improvements to our wages, benefits and workplace.

3.) What can we do about it? Together, it is imperative that we keep our union strong by increasing membership and participation.• Sign a membership card • Attend monthly meetings • Join our Assembly! •

Why do they want to cut our wages and benefits? To increase profits for corporations and the rich. They know unions make life better and raise the standards for all working people. At the University, in just the past two rounds of negotiations, we have won six-week paid parental leave for all parents, a $15 minimum wage, zero increases in health care costs for four years in a row, and protections for trans-gender workers. Our union has collectively won guaranteed annual step increases, high quality health insurance, strong workplace protections, and significant sick & vacation leave. If our union is attacked and weakened, our ability to maintain these benefits will be in jeopardy. That’s why becoming a member and joining with your fellow public service workers in AFSCME to fight for a better life matters so much!

What is this case really about? The case aims to erode the same unions that have improved our lives and the communities we serve. The corporate special interests behind this case do not believe that working people should have the right to negotiate a fair return on our work.

Who is behind this case? The National Right to Work Foundation is part of a decades old network funded by corporate billion-aires and wealthy elites to use the courts to rig the rules against working people, gain out-sized influence, and erode the progress unions have won. Now they want the highest court in the land to take away what unions fought for and won: a living wage, retire-ment security, health benefits, and more.

What are fair-share fees, and why are they important? Unions work because we all pay our fair share and we all bene-fit from what we negotiate together. Fair-share fees provide us with the power we need to negotiate better wages, benefits and protections that improve work conditions and set standards for everyone. Each bargaining-unit employee chooses whether or not to join a union, but the union is still required by law to represent and negotiate on behalf of all us – members and non-members alike. All bargaining-unit employees receive the wage increases, benefits and workplace rights negotiated through the union. The corporate special interests behind this case want to take away our ability to build strength in numbers. That is why they want the Supreme Court to rule that workers can receive all the benefits of a union contract without contributing anything in return. All workers should chip in their fair share to cover the cost of representing them.

Is anyone ever forced to join a union or pay for politics? No. 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.

What is the real impact of this case? If fair share fees are struck down, employees who benefit from the gains that the union makes will not have to pay anything toward the cost of that representation. If our union is weakened, our ability to maintain these benefits will be in jeopardy. Management will begin to take back the negotiated benefits, safety guarantees, and wages we have fought so hard for. These take backs are the specific goal of this attack on worker rights.