California Educator

December 2015

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Compiled by MIKE MYSLINSKI "Every working person should care about this case, even if it doesn't personally affect you. This legal battle is just the latest in a series of attempts by wealthy conservative groups to dismantle every program, service, or law that benefits working people. A win for the Koch brothers here will make it that much harder to fight the next battle." —J. DAVID COX SR., national president of the American Feder- ation of Government Employees, which represents more than 670,000 federal and D.C. government employees nationwide. From his Nov. 20 Huffington Post column. "In some states, public employees have succeeded in preserving their organizations, but a network of billionaires [is] funding a pending Supreme Court case that will likely soon make it more difficult for teachers, firefighters and other public employees to maintain strong unions." —DORIAN T. WARREN, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Chair of the Board at the Center for Community Change, in a Nov. 27 Newsweek commen- tary titled "Stronger Unions Are the Way to Rebalance Our Economy." "Let us be clear: Friedrichs isn't about the First Amendment; it is about undermining this country's labor unions because we are the last great defenders of working people and the middle class. e far-right forces behind the lawsuit despise unions because it is our collective voice and collective action that prevent them from further enriching themselves at ordinary Americans' expense." —United Federation of Teachers Pres- ident MICHAEL MULGREW, in his Dec. 3 column on the website of the 200,000-member UFT in New York. "The Supreme Court should reject this attack on public employees and allow Fair Share to continue to work fairly and equitably, as it has for decades. Then we can continue to build an economy for teachers, nurses, firefighters and other work- ers, an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few." —JENNIFER MUIR, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, in a Nov. 13 col- umn in the Orange County Register. Quotes & Numbers 23 Number of remaining states, including California, that allow public- sector unions to collect Fair Share fees, which the Friedrichs lawsuit would ban. These laws do not force someone to join a union, but do require a worker who does not join to pay their fair share of the costs of collective bargaining that they benefit from. $5,971 Amount the average worker in non-Fair Share states is shortchanged per year compared with a worker's earnings in states with Fair Share fees, according to the AFL-CIO. 1977 The year the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Abood v. Detroit Board of Education ruling allowing government worker unions to collect Fair Share fees from nonmembers to cover the costs of collective bargaining. The Friedrichs lawsuit seeks to overturn that unanimous decision. $88 billion Combined estimated worth, according to Forbes magazine, of conservative brothers Charles and David Koch, backers of the plaintiffs in the Friedrichs lawsuit. 373:1 The CEO-to-worker pay ratio in the U.S. in 2014. In that year, the AFL-CIO says, the average S&P 500 Index CEO received $13.5 million in total compensation. e Friedrichs lawsuit, which challenges the authority of CTA and other public-sector unions to collect Fair Share fees, goes before the U.S. Supreme Court in January. It threat- ens to make it even more difficult for workers to collectively advocate for students and fight for better wages and benefits that can sustain their families. (See story, pages 36-41.) Special Friedrichs v. CTA Edition "If the labor relations system that has served well for so long is in need of revision, that task should be left to Congress and the state legislatures. e Supreme Court should not dismantle it piece by piece in the name of free speech." —ANN C. HODGES, a law professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, in an Aug. 25 column about the Friedrichs lawsuit published in 13 December 2015 / January 2016 e Numbers

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