America Works Together: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association
America’s economy has swung out of balance. It’s getting harder to get by, let alone get ahead. Everyday Americans are working more than ever before. Our work has created record wealth for an economic recovery that’s been everywhere but ordinary peoples’ wallets. Our economic rules unfairly favor corporate CEOs and the rich because they manipulate the rules in their favor. Almost no one stands up for average Americans these days, and now this Supreme Court case threatens to make it even worse. Everyone who works should be able to make ends meet, have a say about their futures, and have the right to negotiate together for better wages and benefits that can sustain their family.
Who are we? We are working people like teachers, nurses, firefighters, and other public service workers who are passionate about our work. We want to get ahead – and stay ahead – by working hard and banding together with others to win better wages and benefits that can sustain our families, win improvements on the job to make our work more effective, and fight for advancements that leave our communities better off than we found them.
Who is trying to undermine the rights of working people to negotiate together? Corporate CEOS and wealthy special interests who manipulate the economic rules in their favor by trying to make it even harder for working people like us — people like teachers or firefighters – to come together, speak up, and get ahead. This case, which deals with public service workers, is just the latest tactic by the same wealthy special interests who have been attacking working people for decades.
What is this case really about? The best way for working people to get ahead is to work hard and band together with others to win better wages and benefits that can sustain their families and win improvements on the job to make their work more effective. This case is about corporate CEOS and wealthy special interests trying to make it even harder for working people — people like teachers or firefighters – to come together, speak up, and get ahead.
What are Fair Share Fees? Everyone can choose whether or not to join a union at work, and nothing in this case will change that. When the majority of people vote to form a union, however, the union is required by law to represent everyone in the workplace, whether that employee is a union member or not. Employees who don’t want to belong to a union only have to contribute to the costs of the representation they receive. As all public employees enjoy the benefits, job security and other protections the union negotiates, it is only fair that all employees contribute to the cost of securing those benefits and protections.
How do Fair Share Fees work? This may sound complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple and a good compromise. You can think about it this way: each individual teacher can choose whether or not to join the teachers union, but the teachers union is required by law to negotiate on behalf of all the teachers at the school and all of the teachers enjoy the benefits, job security and other protections that the union negotiates. Teachers who don’t want to belong to a union only have to contribute to the costs of the representation they receive. It’s only fair that every teacher contribute to the cost of negotiating those benefits and protections. Those are the only fees we’re talking about in this case. No teacher is required to join a union and no teacher is required to pay any fees that go to politics or political candidates. Nothing in this case will change that.
Is anyone ever forced to join a union or pay for politics? No. The simple truth is that no one is required to join a union and no one is required to pay any fees that go to politics or political candidates. Nothing in this case will change that. This case is about making it even harder for working people to come together, speak up for each other, and get ahead by negotiating to make the rules about benefits, hours, and wages more fair.