In brief, the Janus decision will:
It is no accident that more and more Americans are struggling to get ahead and provide economic stability for their families. For too long, corporate special interests and politicians who do their bidding have rigged the economy against working people to favor the wealthy and powerful.
Now those same special interests have brought a court case looks to divide and limit unions members’ collective bargaining power. Janus v AFSCME, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, threatens working people’s rights and freedom to join together in strong unions. It is part of a multi-year, multi-million effort to rig the economy in their benefit—at the expense of the middle class and our communities.
When unions are strong, our communities are strong. They provide a path to the middle class and economic security, especially for women and people of color. Unions have helped build great public schools for students. Collective bargaining ensures educators can advocate for small class sizes, guaranteed recess, modern textbooks, and the technology that students need to succeed.Learn More
“Our collective voice gives us the opportunity to create change at the local, state and national level. It empowers educators to speak on policy that affects our students and our profession.”
— Heather Hunter, elementary STEM school teacher, Gaithersburg, Md.>
“In an era when the rich just get richer while the poor seem to fall through the cracks, we need to come together and speak out for change — whether it’s smaller class sizes, training for educators, fair pay and benefits, healthcare or safer work environments. I know what it means to raise my voice and be able to negotiate side by side with my co-workers for a better future. I know what it has meant for me, for my colleagues and for my family, and I won’t stop fighting for it because America needs it. Being an active union member is what has made this possible.”
— Hasheen Wilson, network administrator and adjunct faculty member, Youngstown, OH>
"Every day we are challenged to protect the children in our care from any and all threats and dangers to their health, safety and well-being…. These challenges are not insurmountable because we are not alone. The National Education Association is with us…When unions negotiate for teacher working conditions, they also negotiate for the conditions that our children learn in."
— Kember Kane, Kindergarten Teacher, Silver Spring, MD>
“What I learned when we moved to Washington is that you really need the balance of power that a union contract provides. In a school setting, all improvements build upon the ones that came before. If an educator isn’t empowered to make suggestions to make things better for their students or their school, nothing will change, nothing will improve. Our experience in a non-union state was that there was no safety in speaking up. We weren’t protected. Because educators have rights and responsibilities here in Washington, the quality of the education our students receive is much better than what we saw in Texas.”
— Dan Bell, elementary art teacher, Richland, Wash.>
“When I taught in Wisconsin, I lost the ability to stand up and say no to class sizes way too big for learning to happen or access to planning time so that I could collaborate with colleagues on strategies to help individual students. I no longer had any power to advocate to ensure that every student in my classroom had the resources he or she needed to be successful.”
— Angela Bina, elementary music teacher, Spokane, Wash.>
"Coming together with other educators through our union membership has allowed us to advocate effectively for our students. My union has always put students first, and has served as a watchdog on their behalf in a school district with a troubled history. Without the strong collective voice, my students wouldn't get the education and resources they need to succeed. Parents, kids, and strong communities depend on that voice being heard."
— Peter Somberg, Kindergarten Teacher, Inglewood, Calif.> Share Your Story