- Those who teach the children rule the world
- The liberal union/academia/ Democrat party hydra has controlled teaching
- Derailing their money train helps challenge their hegemony and the resultant cultural decay
- Decision essentially holds Abood was wrongly decided (after 41 years)
- Could such a corrective imply abortion regime based on Roe (45 years) is on the chopping block (as opposed to babies)
- Portends limiting runaway public employee pension debt train (read articles)
The following articles help explain the Janus decision and the potential for its salubrious effects. The decision and its implications are important to understand. Conservatives have achieved a grand thing. Bold our emphasis
The Supreme Court’s ruling last week that government workers can’t be forced to pay union fees for collective bargaining and other activities may hurt Democrats in the upcoming midterms – although some experts suggest it could have a galvanizing impact for union members to get out and vote.
The 5-4 decision in Janus vs. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees scrapped a 41-year- old decision that had allowed states to require public employees to pay “fair share” fees to unions that represent them.
“This procedure violates the First Amendment and cannot continue,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. “Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a non-member’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”
How the media got the Janus decision wrong (Lance Izumi at Washington Times)
In their stories on the Supreme Court’s historic Janus decision striking down compelled fees for non-union public employees to public-sector unions, the liberal media fumbled badly in reporting the basic reasoning behind the ruling.
The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), involved Mark Janus, a non-union Illinois state employee, who said that the Illinois law that forced him to pay fees to AFSCME to bargain on his behalf violated his First Amendment free-speech rights since the issues negotiated are inherently political and thus force him to subsidize the political activities of a group he doesn’t support.
The key issue, therefore, was not about the union making political contributions to candidates that Janus did not support, but that collective bargaining involves public policies and is therefore unavoidably political.
Thus, forcing Janus to support collective bargaining with mandatory fees to the union violated his First Amendment right against compelled political speech. Yet, the liberal media failed to report this basic reason for Janus‘ lawsuit.
In its story on the decision, Reuters said that the Supreme Court majority had ruled against “so-called agency fees that are collected from millions of non-union workers in lieu of union dues to fund non-political activities like collective bargaining.” Wrong.
Again, the point of Janus‘ lawsuit was that collective bargaining is inherently political.
The New York Times’ reporting was just as bad.
The Times wrote that the majority’s ruling was “based on the First Amendment, saying that requiring payments to unions that negotiate with the government forces workers to endorse political messages that may be at odds with their beliefs.” The Times clarified what it meant by “political messages” by giving the union position to provide context.
“Unions say that reasoning is flawed,” noted The Times. “Nonmembers are already entitled to refunds of payments spent on political activities, like advertising to support a political candidate.”
Further, wrote The Times, “Collective bargaining is different, the unions say, and workers should not be free to reap the benefits of such bargaining without paying their fair share of the costs.”
The Times report never made it clear to its readers that the central issue of the case was Janus‘ argument that union collective bargaining is inherently political and that forcing non-union government employees to subsidize such activities is unconstitutional.
. . .
Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the majority opinion, cited the court’s previous 2012 decision in Knox v. Service Employees saying that the court had “recognized that a ‘significant infringement on First Amendment rights’ occurs when public employees are required to provide financial support for a union that ‘takes many positions during collective bargaining that have powerful political and civic consequences.’”
Further, speaking to the argument by unions and governments that workers should not reap the supposed benefits of collective bargaining without paying for it, Justice Alito said that reasoning is unconstitutional.
“The First Amendment,” he wrote, “does not permit the government to compel a person to pay for another party’s speech just because the government thinks that the speech furthers the interests of the person who does not want to pay.”
6 Big Changes Coming To Public Schools And Politics Thanks To The Supreme Court’s Union Smashdown – Joy Pullman at The Federalist (excerpts)
Every state is now essentially a right to work state. It’s not an overstatement to say this ruling is a death knell for unions as we know them, and will dramatically change Democratic politics.
Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME that people cannot be forced to pay unions they don’t want to join, the country has gone from 28 right-to-work states to 50 right-to-work states overnight. That includes several high-population, heavily Democratic states with strong unions: New York, Illinois, and California.
The vast majority of unionized U.S. employees work in government-dominated industries. So, far from the old image of unions representing the working man who needed extra protections because of dangerous conditions, today unions represent mostly white-collar people, largely an army of clerks necessitated by government programs and regulations.
Essentially, unions have functioned as a government growth loop, spending government employees’ money to grow the number of government employees. Whenever they win, taxpayers necessarily lose, because getting more out of taxpayers is how they maintain power. The Janus ruling will put a hole in the tire of this car speeding the nation towards fiscal doom. Here’s why, plus five other important effects.
1. Democrats Will Lose a Huge Source of Campaign Cash
Unions function as political operations for politicians who expand government’s sources of power and revenue. They essentially turn government into its own lobbying group, a major conflict of interest that also corrupts government into an antagonist with interests separate and opposing those of the American people rather than our duly sworn servant.
About 90 percent of union political contributions fund Democrats,
Unions comprised six of the top ten political spenders from 1989 to 2012. Unions were one out of every five of the top 50 spenders in the 2016 election. The No. 1 national contributors to federal elections from 1989 to 2009 were teachers unions.
Forced dues are the major source of unions’ political war chests. See, unions in non-right-to-work states forced even non-members to subsidize them through something called “agency fees,” which assumes that unions benefit all employees of a unionized workforce, even non-members, by increasing their pay and improving their work conditions. In reality, unions most benefit the workers who are the least productive and even criminal (see “rubber rooms“). Productive employees don’t need a union to protect them — employers want to hire and keep them . . .
2. Schools Can Fire Bad Teachers, Pay Good Teachers More
Two-thirds of public school teachers are unionized. Unions are largely responsible for employment rules that prevent hiring and firing teachers according to merit and a principal’s discretion. Union-demanded teacher employment results in salary schedules that pay people according to credentials and length of tenure in a given school district, not teacher quality.
The results are well-documented: significantly less student learning, especially for the children who need extra help. This reduces kids’ future income and employment prospects. It also especially hurts kids with special needs and math and science education, since the people who are qualified to meet those needs typically have far more lucrative and less bureaucratic career options outside of education, where due to union-demanded salary arrangements schools often cannot offer them competitive compensation.
Thirty-four states require school districts to collectively bargain with teachers, and this ruling doesn’t change that. But, again as we saw in Wisconsin, it does allow teachers to individually choose not to fund unions, which deprives them of the money that cements their power through political activism . . .
3. States Can Better Address Massive Pension Shortfalls
Government employee unions are a major contributor to the tsunami of state and local debt about to engulf the nation, as they are the ones who used their ill-gotten political war chests to demand big benefits for their retirees at the expense of today’s taxpayers. Unfunded government pension liabilities — or the difference between what politicians negotiated with unions and what they’ve saved — now stand nationwide at $19,000 for every single U.S. resident. That’s resident, not taxpayer, so if you have two kids and a wife, that’s $76,000 your family “owes” to people providing no public service now or in the future.
In large part because of unions, California, Illinois, and New York are essentially bankrupt. Ohio, New Mexico, and Oregon are also in serious trouble (see below). Their politicians are talking about having the U.S. Congress bail them out. Considering that national debt and unfunded liabilities are the highest in human history, that would be pretty funny if it weren’t so scary. . . .
4. School Districts Will Have a Lot More Freedom
Stanford University political science professor Terry Moe wrote the definitive study of teachers unions’ history and politics, “Special Interest,” in 2011. In it, he argued that union demands are incorporated into almost every important aspect of public schools. Here’s his analysis:
… public education is an arena of special interest power. When public officials make their decisions about the public schools, whether those decisions have to do with funding or personnel rules or new programs or major reforms, we cannot blithely assume that they are doing what is best for children and seeking out the most effective possible solutions. In fact, they are often responding to special interest groups. And the most powerful of these groups, by far, are the teachers unions.
Moe believed that a growing understanding of teachers unions’ self-interest among Democrats plus the power of technology would shift what he considered the dominant force keeping U.S. education from improving in the past 40 years. Instead, it appears the Janus decision will deal the decisive blow.
Gradually eroding the dominant power in education will have many effects, among them giving local school districts far more freedom. It remains to be seen what they will do with it. . . .
5. Teachers Will Be More at the Mercy of Administrators
While I think it is clear on both cultural and fiscal grounds that government employee unions have been a massive net negative for the country, I have also seen unions perform some useful functions. Most of that is in protecting teachers from truly power-abusive administrators. . . . The real reason administrations can be so heavy-handed is that public education is essentially a monopoly. Public schools are guaranteed “customers” for their services. This deprives both families and teachers of individual bargaining power against the school district, because it sharply increases the disadvantages to them of going elsewhere for education. . . .
6. Sets the Stage For a Bureaucracy Showdown
I think the best way to solve teachers resorting to unions to gain bargaining power that the monopoly school system siphons from them is to give every family substantial bargaining power, through school vouchers. That would restore good teachers’ power by forcing school districts to care about student achievement to attract students, rather than relying upon inertia. If school districts care about achievement, they will start to focus on teacher quality real fast, as teacher excellence is the No. 1 driver of student achievement.
Imagine what would happen if every single American parent were free to use the public resources dedicated to their children to buy precisely the kind of education they want.
This would also set teachers free to run their own schools or teach individual classes for an entire potential cottage industry of education consultants, therapists, tutors, and one-room schoolhouses. No longer would they have to go begging to massive, centralized masters for employment, which gives central planners the power to dictate what education must look like and contain. . . .
I have said before that teachers unions are last century’s battle. They may be powerful, but their power is a legacy power. In structure and style, unions are a holdover from the era of big factories, lifetime employment at one employer, mass negotiation, mass products, of the Industrial Age. The Janus decision only reinforces and materializes that opinion. However important it has been, the key struggle of today and the near future is not unionization, it is centralization.
As the main antagonist of freedom in education ebbs more swiftly, what is replacing it? I think the answer is technocracy: The bureaucratic ruling class already corrupting national life. Unions contributed to the administrative class, but they also competed with it for power, in a lesser version of the fascist and socialist jockeying we see in broader politics during collectivist impulses. The only historically possible positive counterweight is self-government, meaning individual liberty. We need our state and national lawmakers to restore that balance of power as soon as possible, or the power vacuum unions leave behind will feed another kind of tyrant.