California Educator

February 2016

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Page 36 of 59

Reagan Duncan, first grade teacher at Vista, speaks to the crowd in front of the Supreme Court in support of edu- cators' right to advocate for students. Photo by Patrick G. Ryan The Facts About Fair Share Fees No one is required to join a union, and no one is required to pay any fees that go to politics or polit- ical candidates. But… By law, unions must represent and bargain for every worker, whether they join the union or not. O N J A N . 1 1 , the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Friedrichs v. CTA. e case threatens educators' ability to be an effective voice for their students and bar- gain for smaller class sizes, safer schools, and better learning environments. More broadly, Friedrichs seeks to overturn nearly 40 years of precedent and further tip the balance of influence to corporate special interests, ultimately making things worse for all unions, as well as the working families and communities we serve. CTA President Eric Heins was in the cham- bers during the arguments. He described the proceedings as "intense," and said he was proud to represent more than 325,000 col- leagues and members from California. "It was good to look at them square in the face as the justices asked their questions," Heins said , "so they knew we're not some disembodied union in the abstract, but we're teachers, speech therapists, librarians, school bus drivers, secretaries, counselors and psy- chologists. We're real people, and the decisions that they make impact real people and the education of the students that we care and work so hard for." C TA w a s j o i n e d b y m a n y s u p p o r t e r s , many of w hom rallied on th e st eps of th e Supreme Court. Among them was Reagan Duncan, a first- grade teacher in Vista. "My right to advocate for my kids is truly what is being threatened here," she said. "I see every day how collec- tive bargaining is benefiting my students. rough my union, we have been able to bar- gain contracts that provide smaller class sizes, which allows us to provide more one-on-one instruction time and individualized attention to ensure our students succeed." Duncan was joined by Maya Walker, a librar y technician at Hayward High Standing Strong Friedrichs v. CTA rests in the hands of the Supreme Court 35 February 2016

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