Oregon and Washington Teachers Exercise Their Janus Rights
Oregon is a Model 3 teacher bargaining state. That means, prior to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation’s Janus decision, teachers and other education personnel were mostly either forced to become a member of a teacher union and endure their exclusive representation power, or pay dues to an unwanted union, as an agency fee payor. Currently, every teacher in a school district with exclusive representation, is still forced to abide by a teacher union-bargained contract whether they agree with the provisions or not. While the Janus decision has released all public sector workers from the burden of being a member or paying forced dues, teacher union officials have tried every trick in the book to keep teachers and other education workers paying dues. It appears, however, that teacher union officials’ ploys are not preventing teachers from exercising their consciences. Collin Anderson has the story in the Washington freebeacon.com.
Two Oregon teachers’ unions—the state’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT) chapter and the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA)—reported drops in paying members of 35 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Both unions lost nearly $1 million in revenue as a result, with the OSEA closing three field offices and accepting a $400,000 bailout from its parent organization to help make ends meet. In Washington, the Federation of State Employees disclosed a 27 percent decline in financial supporters since June 2018.
The membership declines reflect the waning power of unions in the United States.