California Educator

February / March 2018

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Page 39 of 67

he U.S. Supreme Court is poised to hear oral arguments in Janu s v. AFSCME on Feb. 26, 2018. A decision in favor of Janus would make the entire public sector "right-to-work" in one fell swoop. Janu s v. AF SC ME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) is the culmination of decades of attacks on working people by cor- porate CEOs, the wealthiest 1 percent, and the politicians who do their bidding to rig the economy in their favor. ese are the same forces that have pushed for limiting voting rights, attacked immigrants, and undermined civil rights protec- tions. eir goal with Janus (as it was in Friedrichs v. CTA) is no secret: ey want to use the Supreme Court to take away the freedom of working people to join together in strong unions. It is essential, says CTA President Eric Heins, to keep educators' collective voice strong. "Unions give us the power to speak up for our students, families and com- munities. Unions such as CTA use their collective voice to advocate for policies that benefit all working people — like livable wages, affordable health care and great public schools." Unions have played a critical role in building and protecting the middle class in America. ey provide hardworking people economic stability for their families and give them the tools to build a good life, home and education for themselves and their children. In an era when the courts have determined that corporations are people, Janus Supreme Court case threatens to silence workers' collective voice Janus v. AFSCME What is the issue? More than 30 cases across the country have been filed over the past three years designed to weaken unions in a variety of ways, such as attacks on pay- roll deductions, collective bargaining, and the collection of fair share fees. Janus v. AFSCME, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, is crafted to overturn 41 years of constitutional law established in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. (The law means public sector unions can charge all employees fair share fees for activities related to "collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjust- ment purposes.") A decision in Janus is expected between March and June. The current makeup of the Supreme Court makes it likely that Abood will be over- turned and fair share fees will be ruled unconstitutional. Why is it happening? Since its founding in 1863, CTA has been steering the direction of public education in California. We are the original education reformers — speak- ing out for children, educators and our communities to build a better California for all. CTA has had many successes over the past 154 years, much to the dismay of those looking to expand their own agenda and profit from public education. Our proven record of advocacy, our willingness to stand up to anyone, and our reputation of political power make CTA a target for anti-union forces who want a piece of the $76 billion spent on California's 9 million students in public schools and community colleges. But CTA is about kids, not profits. Always has been, always will be! T The Attack on Work 38 Advocacy J A N U S V . A F S C M E

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