By now I'm sure most of you have already heard that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that public sector unions can continue to collect fair share (agency) fees from non members. The Friedrichs case has been decided in the union's favor in a 4-4 split decision. This in no way means that the well funded people who want to destroy unions and take away worker rights are done. It just means that they will probably look for other cases to bring to the courts.
The Court's decision was concise to say the least in upholding a lower court ruling: "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court."
It is quite clear, as we said in February, that the only reason the unions had a chance was because of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Had he lived, we almost certainly would have lost a 5-4 decision.
The lesson from all of this is that our votes really do matter as the balance on the Supreme Court, probably for a generation, will be decided by this year's presidential election. The election will also determine who will control the U.S. Senate which has to confirm the justices. Voting is important ladies and gentlemen.
For those who were hoping they wouldn't have to pay dues to a union they don't think represents them properly, rather than feeling down today it would be better if you join with us to campaign and vote for MORE-NEW ACTION and against Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus in the May UFT election. Mulgrew believes the union should not work to repeal an awful law that says tenured teachers should be guilty until proven innocent in dismissal hearings. That position is unacceptable. We can only change the law if you empower us to really fight it in Albany. In recent union elections most teachers have decided not to vote unfortunately. Don't leave it up to retirees, who vote in large numbers, to decide who will run the UFT.
Many of us have spent a great deal of time after school these days running around the city, first to get petitions signed to get hundreds of MORE-NEW ACTION candidates on the ballot, and now to distribute leaflets to tens of thousands of teachers promoting our slate. At the same time my wife and I still manage to fight grievances and help UFT members from all over the city who ask us to while we are also still teaching and taking care of our family. We ask for your support. Ballots will be mailed to your house in early May. Votes really matter in union elections, just like national elections.