What was the Janus vs. AFSCME case about?
Mark Janus is an Illinois state employee who was represented under the collective bargaining unit of the American Foundation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
In Janus vs. AFSCME, Mark Janus claimed that public sector union activity cannot be divorced from its politics, so supporting (paying dues) to a public sector union is political speech. Therefore, the requirement that he pay dues to AFSCME violated his First Amendment Rights by compelling him to this speech.
You can read the full decision here. The dissenting opinion by Justice Kagan begins on page 56 and is excellent. There is also this article in the NY Times, which highlights how this decision can serve to mobilize our public sector members.
What does this mean for NTFC?
Everyone covered by our Collective Bargaining Unit is still represented by NTFC for the purposes of contract negotiation and enforcement. However, those in the bargaining unit who have not signed membership cards will no longer be required to pay for the cost of this negotiation and enforcement.
The union will still be working for everyone, but not everyone will be paying for this work.
What to do?
Organize! The people who backed this case are trying to weaken the voices and bargaining power of public sector workers. But we’ve never relied on them for our power. Our power comes from each other. Let’s show them we are #UnionStrong and #UnionProud.
Here are some ways you can do just that:
If you haven’t signed a card, sign it now! We have people ready to get you on board.
If you know someone who has been thinking of signing, but hasn’t gotten around to it, contact them and let them know what’s at stake! Or, contact uswith their information and we can reach-out for you.
If you don’t know anyone, but would like to help the union reach more people, let us know! We can give you the resources you need to help out.
Want to talk to someone in person?
Come to our weekly Happy Hour!
It begins every Friday at 5pm at Quality in Champaign (110 N Neil St.)
Let’s stand together and show those who wish to silence the voices of public sector workers that we are #United!