The Reality of Janus

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Larry Sand gets right to the point about the Janus v. AFSCME decision with the facts on the californiapolicycenter.org.

The hysterical reaction to the recent Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which frees public employees in 22 states from having to pay any money to a union as a condition of employment, has Chicken Little nodding in solidarity. As reported by Mike Antonucci, just a sampling of the overwrought and downright loopy headlines read “A Future Without Unions Is a Terrifying Dystopia,” “The assassination of the American union,” and “Are Unions Facing the Eve of Destruction?

Prior to the ruling, teachers and other government workers could opt out of the political portion of union dues but still were forced to pay for the “non-political” part. The Court in overturning the 41 year-old Abood decision, however, blew away that distinction. The case was about freedom of association. Period. Government unions still exist, can collectively bargain and maintain exclusive bargaining rights.

The aforementioned headlines were not the only hysteria surrounding the Court’s decision. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten growled, “The right-wing extremists on the Supreme Court showed their true colors today.” The Badass Teachers Association, a strident left-wing union faction, claims the decision “will lead to turmoil throughout the United States.” The California Teachers Associationinsists that the case was “bankrolled by corporate interests” who want to “rig the economic system.” Playing the race card, Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey proclaimed the ruling was “an attack on black people, on brown people, on working-class people in the city of Chicago.” The United Teachers of Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl got creative and threw in a shot at the Los Angeles school board. After the usual blather about evil billionaires and greedy corporations, the union boss veered off and slammed the “ideologically driven, pro-privatization leadership of LAUSD, which prioritizes the unregulated growth of charter schools.”

No, no, no, no and no. One more time – the lawsuit was simply about voluntary union association.