Haven't weighed in on the Janus decision as yet, but let's just say I'm pleased the Supreme Court of the United States still acknowledges a key tenet of the First Amendment (i.e. freedom of association).
I may be a titch biased here but perhaps one of the more insightful reactions to this ruling came from the fetching Mrs. Carlson, who has been a public school teacher for 24 years.
I'm free. *warning* This is a very long post about why the Janus vs. AFCME decision is so important to me. It contains political opinions that might make you mad. So if you care to know a small fraction of what is on my heart, read on.
1) We have a right to freely assemble. There is absolutely nothing wrong with public or private sector workers joining together to negotiate contracts with their employers. I support my local teacher's union in negotiating a contract for me. I am happy to pay dues for contract negotiation.
2) Only a fraction of my yearly dues remains local. Most of the money is sent to the state and national organization. Both organizations support and lobby for policy that I oppose. Both organizations support political candidates that I oppose. Until today, this has been very painful for me. I have been torn between my personal ideals/beliefs and dedication to my profession.
3) Until today, my only option was to become a 'fee payer' if I wished to leave the union. This means that I would not receive any union benefits or have a vote. Until today, I would still have to pay 85% of the dues. We were given a two week window every school year (in August) to opt out of the union. If you miss the window, too bad. You have to wait until next year. We were also given a two week window to ask for a refund for our PAC contribution of $10.
4) Until today, my union did not need to listen to me. About anything. Now if they want me to opt in, they had better start.
5) For those who say "Just teach in a private school" or "Get another job". NO. I believe the most powerful opportunity equalizer is public education. Our founders thought so too. I am and will remain dedicated to the education of the masses.
6) Regarding #5: On a personal note....I am a believer in Christ. The most powerful way I can show His love for humanity is by loving His children. I am on the front lines in a battle bigger than you can imagine. It is a hard job. I refuse to give up or give in. I don't need to profess my faith to my students. I just try to live it as best I can.
7) For those who say "Good. Public schools are failing anyway". You are right. Education is complicated. Start with your local school board. Remember those? Those people you elect that are supposed to be in charge? Pay attention people! You are in charge of your local schools. YOU.
8) I have so much more to say. I didn't address the importance of unions past/present. I also didn't address charter schools, vouchers, or taxes. All important...for another post.
Blessings to you friends. Today is my freedom day.
The leftists have had a bad week given that SCOTUS has issued rulings in favor of not only the First Amendment but also the authority of the Executive Branch (i.e. Trump's travel ban).
Ricochet.com Editor-in chief Jon Gabriel summed up these decisions perfectly.
Maybe if government didn't interfere so much in our lives, every Supreme Court decision wouldn't be such a life-or-death deal. — jon gabriel (@exjon) June 28, 2018