Important One Year Milestone: Union Membership is Now Your Choice

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The end of the 2019 school year coincides with an important milestone: June 27th will be the one year marker since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which determined that forcibly collecting union dues and fees from public workers, including teachers, is unconstitutional.

This summer is the perfect time to ask yourself the question: What is my union doing for me? Is it representing my values and does it have my best interests in mind? 

Many public employees will decide to remain in their union. Many others have already opted-out of their membership – including 6% of state workers – but not all for the same reason. Some don’t like the extreme political positions of their union, while others feel their union has misplaced priorities: too little focus on local issues that affect them personally.

Still others are turned off by corruption scandals by union leaders, while some simply don’t think they’re getting enough bang for their buck.

While unions have a long history representing public workers, recent trends have raised concerns. Unions are clearly worried about the Janus decision. With the support of sympathetic lawmakers, many states, at the urging of unions, are making it difficult for workers to freely exercise their new choices under Janus.

The Janus decision has served as a wake-up call for many public sector unions. But instead of re-evaluating how they can better represent public workers, many have resorted to pressuring employees and putting up roadblocks for those looking to act freely.

Hardworking teachers and all public employees deserve a fully-informed and completely free choice. 

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  • Joe Smith

    I think the wake up call to unions was to double down on getting protection through the political process; at least in RI with contract continuation, firefighter OT bill, and other items. Kind of like after Roe v. Wade pro-life groups got mobilized.

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