June 28, 2018

Teachers React to the Supreme Court Ruling That Ends 'Fair Share' Union Fees

Read the entire article on Education Week by Madeline Will.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a heavy blow to teachers' unions with their ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31. 

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices decided that "agency" or "fair share" fees that public-sector unions had been charging to nonmembers were unconstitutional. The unions had argued that those fees were a fair way to charge nonmembers for the cost of being represented in collective bargaining, but the Supreme Court held that it was a violation of employees' First Amendment rights to require them to pay fees when they might not support the union's activities. The Supreme Court also ruled that employees need to affirmatively opt into the union—rather than having to opt out...

...Christina Kim, an instructional coach in Los Angeles, said she hopes the Janus ruling will give unions an opportunity to "adjust and make ourselves stronger." 

Kim, who is a member of the United Teachers Los Angeles' House of Representatives, said she wants her union to conduct an in-house survey of members to see what they think and how they can better represent them. She is a member of the teacher advisory group for Educators for Excellence, an advocacy group that recently released a nationally representative survey on teachers' views on unions. The survey found that 85 percent of all teachers think unions are important, but 52 percent of union members think the union represents their perspective only somewhat. 

To read the complete article, visit Educaiton Week.