JANUS v. AFSCME FAQ's
At issue in Janus v. AFSCME are state laws that require public sector employees represented by unions to share in the cost of collective bargaining for wages, benefits and working conditions through the payment of “fair share” fees. “Fair share” fees are not union dues and cannot be used for politics or lobbying. The fees are limited to the direct cost of negotiating and enforcing employment contracts.
The legality of “fair share” laws was established by the court more than four decades ago. Ever since, a network of well-funded corporate and special interests have used the courts in attempt after attempt to reduce worker earnings by weakening the bargaining power of employees.
What does this Supreme Court decision mean for the IFO? Will this destroy our union and permanently weaken the labor movement?
The IFO has been planning for this day for more than two years. We have been mobilizing members, organizing new members, and remain determined to stick together in our union, no matter what. In 2017-2018, more faculty signed as members than any previous year in our history. We’re not going to let corporate special interests and extremist politicians stop us from fighting for the important benefits our union has won. This case does not define us, nor will it beat us.
How many members will the IFO lose? How much operating revenue will our union lose?
The power of our union comes from our members, not from money. Our money has always been dwarfed by corporate special interests. Our power is our members, and their determination to fight for our profession, our students, and our communities. We know from experience that we are stronger together.
Currently, we have a large majority of faculty as members. That will not change. However, we will lose important operating revenue that will make it harder for us to advocate for faculty. That was the intention of this case to begin with. But we have taken concrete steps to protect the same high-level of service and advocacy that our members need, and we will continue to work to organize and create an inclusive environment where all faculty feel welcome to join and participate in our union.
What are the IFO's next steps after this decision?
ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE. ORGANIZE. Today’s ruling only makes IFO members even more determined to:
· Stick together with our colleagues in our union.
· Unite more faculty together in our union.
· Hold politicians accountable by ensuring they support protecting and supporting unions.