Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of freedom for public sector employees – a landmark decision for educators across the nation and a devastating blow to public sector unions in 22 states.
In Janus vs. AFSCME, a public employee in Illinois contended that he should not have to pay fees to a union whose political advocacy he did not support.
Though the premise seems reasonable, the reality is that only 28 states, including Mississippi, have right-to-work laws on the books which prevent unions from requiring all public employees affected by their negotiations to pay “fair share” fees or risk losing their jobs. Illinois is not one of them.
This 5-4 ruling by the Court significantly impacts the future of unions, but more importantly, it spreads the freedom Mississippians are already experiencing to workers in every state.
Educators are by far the largest group of public employees affected by this decision.
As stated in the Court’s opinion, unions have had a heavy hand not only in how public money is spent but on “fundamental questions of education policy.” Rather than representing the true priorities of teachers, unions have put up a barrier between those in the classroom and those with the purse strings.
Due to fear and intimidation, valuable voices have been missing from education policy conversations for too many years.
Just as parents should have the right to choose the best educational setting for their children, teachers should have the right to choose how to best express their views.
This decision is a huge step in the right direction!
Grant Callen, Empower Mississippi