The Supreme Court issued the long-awaited decision in the case of
Janus vs. AFSCME. As expected, we witnessed the highest legal
authority in the United States disregard 40 years of their own
legal precedents protecting workers’ rights and instead chose to
continue to erode unions.
The Janus vs. AFSCME case was argued by the National Right to
Work Legal Defense Foundation – a group whose sole purpose is to
break unions. This case, like many others, is supported and
funded by billionaires and corporations who began the “Right to
Work” movement. Their aim is to strip workers’ rights,
suppress wages, and ship jobs overseas to maximize their personal
Our eyes are wide open to the “Right to Work” lies designed to
divide us. Thousands of our members have already made the choice
to stand with their co-workers and choose our union because they
understand that standing together strengthens our ability to
negotiate good contracts, fight for higher wages, defend our
members’ rights and protect our hard-earned pensions.
Next year we head into bargaining with the state. During
our last collective bargaining, we negotiated the largest
contract in the history of the State of California. Our contract
included an across the board 11.5% pay increase and a $2,500
bonus. Together we won a host of working condition benefits
like a pathway to end mandatory overtime, increased opportunities
for upward mobility and mechanisms to address discrepancies
in the cost of living throughout our state.
These victories were the result of a strong, active membership
and the work of thousands of members and leaders who stood strong
in the face of adversity to fight for their families.
Our unprecedented wins at SEIU Local 1000 are in sharp contrast
to what we’ve seen in places like Wisconsin, where the state
workers contract went from 397 pages to 4 after the passage of
anti-union legislation. Since 2010,
Wisconsin has seen:
They have seen the largest middle class decline of any state
Public employees have received only a 2% salary increase in
the last 8 years
Health contributions immediately reduced employees’ take-home
pay by up to 12%
An immediate 24% cutback to public employees benefits
after the passage of anti-union legislation in 2010.
How to stay strong and protect our hard won rights
When we choose our union, we choose a strong contract, we choose
to fight for our hard-earned pensions, and we choose to build the
power and strength of SEIU Local 1000.
There is no escaping it: The rich are getting richer and the poor
are getting poorer. One-quarter of American workers make less
than $10 per hour, a wage well below the current poverty level.
The top 1 percent have an average net worth of $26.4 million, and
on top of that, they take home $1.5 million annually. The
wealthiest 1 percent own 40 percent of the income of
our entire country, and that number is growing.
When he was gunned down by an assassin’s bullet in 1968, Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis. His last political act was
to support sanitation workers as they fought for economic
security and dignity on the job. Dr. King understood that the
struggle for equality and justice is not limited to civil rights.
It also includes economic justice. So, as he led the great
struggle for civil rights, he also fought for labor rights.
Public employee unions are a force in California. They’re why
minimum wages here are rising to $15 an hour and why farmworkers
get overtime. They got voters to raise taxes to support public
schools during the recession and, less happily, negotiated
pensions with costs that are sky high.
Public sector unions also have helped keep Democrats in power in
blue states and kept organized labor from extinction. For this
reason, they are a thorn in the side of ideological
conservatives, who blame them for big government.
Public employee unions rallied around the country as arguments
were made before the United States Supreme Court regarding
whether workers who disagree with unions’ political activities
must be forced to pay union dues called agency fees.
“This case is really about silencing the voices of working
families, privatizing our jobs, taking away our wages, taking
away our job protection and our retirement.” – Regina Whitney,
President of DLC 743
On Monday the Supreme Court was asked — again — to engage in some
union-busting in the name of the 1st Amendment.
Specifically, the justices were asked to rule that public
employee unions may not require non-members to pay a fee to
defray the cost of collective bargaining and other services from
which they benefit. Ominously, several justices indicated in
their comments at oral argument that they’re willing to do just
that, overruling a 41-year-old precedent.
Next week, the nine justices on the Supreme Court of the United
States will hear a case that could change the relationship
between public sector unions and the workers they represent in
more than 20 states, including California.
Dozens of union members rallied at the Ventura County Medical
Center Monday in response to the Janus v. AFSCME case being heard
by the Supreme Court.
The case, which centers on whether government workers can be
forced to pay fees to support union activities whether they are
in a union or not, could deal a significant blow to organized
labor efforts by cutting off a major source of unions’
“I understand that it is only by standing together with my union
brothers and sisters that we are able to continue to improve our
working conditions.” – Tracie Kimbrough, Women’s Empowerment
Nearly 100 teachers, nurses, transit workers and politicians
rallied at San Francisco City Hall Monday in response to a U.S.
Supreme Court case that could decrease funding and participation
The court heard arguments today in the case, Janus v. American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council
(AFSCME), in which the plaintiffs argue that non-union workers
should not have to pay “fair-share” union fees. The U.S. Supreme
Court set that precedent 40 years ago.
What do public sector unions in Orange County turn to when facing
an existential threat at the Supreme Court of the United States?
People held signs spelling out “solidarity” in answering the
question during an urgent noontime rally yesterday at UC Irvine.
A new six-member coalition of campus unions banded together to
sound the alarm on Janus v.