The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a 5-4 decision in a case that had been bankrolled by corporate interests in an effort to make it even harder for working people to come together and speak up for each other. The case, Janus v. American Federation of County, State Municipal Employees, Council 31, sought to overturn common sense jurisprudence that was established more than 40 years ago in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. The unanimous ruling in Abood had allowed states and localities the freedom to choose whether all public employees should pay their fair share for the employment representation they receive.
“As a right-to-work state, this ruling will have little effect in our state or on our state association,” said TEA President Barbara Gray. “The Tennessee Education Association has long been committed to organizing public school educators who share our dedication to ensuring every child has access to a great public education. TEA has a proven history as a strong and effective advocate for public education in our state. This ruling does not change our commitment to Tennessee students or educators.”
TEA is the state-level affiliate of the National Education Association. More than half of U.S. states, including Tennessee, already prohibit collective bargaining or prohibit collection of fair share fees.
“Many of our schools have faced serious funding cuts that are likely to grow even worse. We’ve seen it in the resources available to our students, and we have felt it in our paychecks,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “All over the country, they are cutting funding for arts and PE, up-to-date textbooks, recess, and class sizes that allow for one-on-one instruction. A strong union and collective bargaining agreements are what help to ensure students receive the tools and resources they need to succeed in school and in life.”
For more information about the case, including links to friend of the court briefs, columns by experts opposing the deceptive lawsuit, and other data, go to www.neatoday.org/janus.