Unions Strengthen Our Communities and Give Educators A Voice

We are better at our craft and more powerful advocates for ourselves and our students if we work collectively through our unions. Through MTA’s All In effort, we are building that power with intentional one-to-one member conversations at the local and chapter levels.

Why Now?
Why Now?

We’ve always known that face-to-face conversations are the best way to engage members. There is a renewed urgency this year because of Janus v. AFSCME, an anti-union case that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. That case, backed by the Koch brothers and other wealthy special interests, is intended to weaken and defund public employee unions.

Upcoming Ruling
West Virginia Teachers

Given the current makeup of the Supreme Court, it is widely anticipated that the “right-to-work-for-less” position will prevail. Whatever the outcome, the MTA and its affiliates will continue to inform and engage members so that we can be strong forces for quality education and fair treatment of educators. Just take a look at how effective educators in West Virginia and Oklahoma have been despite anti-union laws on the books in those states.

Fighting for Our Rights

Education for All

All In is a way of thinking and acting, rather than a campaign with a specific end date. The forces arrayed against unions have no plan to stop attacking the rights of working men and women, and we do not intend to stop fighting for our rights. Now and into the future, we need our members to share their ideas and values with one another and experience the power of collective action. We need members to be All In.

All In: Union Power

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Frederick Douglass

What Is the Janus case?

What Is Janus?

Janus v. AFSCME is a case before the U.S. Supreme Court backed by corporate CEOs and billionaires who are trying to weaken public-sector unions. The lead plaintiff in the case is an Illinois social worker who doesn’t want to pay any union dues or fees. A decision in his favor — and against the interests of unionized working men and women — is expected soon.

Why are we focused on this case?

The Janus case is part of a larger corporate-backed campaign to undo union power across the country. We need to be prepared for both an immediate and a prolonged fight to protect our rights. There are already 28 states where legislatures have passed so-called Right-to-Work laws in an attempt to weaken unions. However, with deep member involvement in our union, we have an opportunity to grow our power.

What is the current law?
No one is required to join a union. However, under the current system based on a 40-year-old Supreme Court decision, all public employees who work in a unionized workplace can be required to pay a fair-share fee (also known as an agency fee) toward the cost of negotiating and maintaining the contract from which all employees benefit.
How would unions be affected by overturning current law?
If Janus prevails, then the fair-share fee requirement would be eliminated. All employees, whether they pay dues or not, would receive all the collective bargaining rights afforded to dues-paying members. Union members would be targeted by campaigns urging them to drop their memberships. The goal of these campaigns is to weaken unions and silence the voices of working men and women.
What is the goal of Janus backers?
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and other corporate-funded groups behind this lawsuit want management to have unfettered rights to determine pay, benefits and working conditions. We know from experience that weaker unions lead to lower compensation. For example, since public employee unions were gutted in Wisconsin in 2011, median pay and benefits for teachers has declined by $10,842.
What is the MTA doing in response to Janus?
The MTA is fighting back by organizing to protect the power of our members and the public good. This includes developing leaders and encouraging members to be active at the local, state and national levels in support of the public schools and colleges our students, our members and our communities deserve.

Unions Keep Inequality in Check

Union

Tell the World You Are Sticking With Your Union

Take photos of yourself, either individually or in groups, holding handmade signs with the word "union" — or a similar message of your choosing. — and share them widely.

Janus Norma Rae
Janus Working People Thumbnail
Janus Families Thumbnail

Social Media Memes

Melrose Education Association

MTA Members Are #All_In

Across the Commonwealth, MTA members are using their collective voices to speak out for the schools and colleges our communities deserve. Check out our Educators in Action page and share your latest #All_In pictures with us so we don't miss a thing.

Educators in ActionSubmit Your All In Action Info

All In Tools

What Is Janus? Membership vs. Non-Membership Why Go All In for Unions Why Janus Matters

Tools for Local Association Leaders
Rally for Public Ed

Apply for MTA Organizing Funds

Member engagement is our best defense against the corporate interests behind Janus v. AFSCME. They have one goal in mind — silencing the voice of workers and unions.

Learn more about creating an organizing program in your local.

Apply for Organizing Funds All In Guide

Preparing for the Janus Decision

Planning Memo

Why should someone join your union?

Use the B.R.A.G. structure to organize a list of benefits, resources, accomplishments and goals that your local provides to its members.

B.R.A.G. Worksheet

Workers ‘stick with the union’ as court hears Janus arguments

We Rise event on Feb. 26

Workers took to the streets in cities across Massachusetts — and thousands more wore pro-union stickers at their worksites — to show solidarity on Monday, Feb. 26, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case backed by wealthy special interests intent on weakening the power of public employee unions.

“Sisters and brothers in labor, we are gathering today to show the world that we are going to stay strong and stick with the union no matter what billionaires like the Koch brothers and the backers of the State Policy Network or our own Pioneer Institute throw at us,” MTA President Barbara Madeloni said.. “We know our power is in our solidarity.”

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Members Are All In for Union Solidarity

Members of the Sutton Education Support Professionals Association are enthusiastically taking part in the All In campaign. From left to right are President Elaine Valk, Chris Chase, Melissa Wahlstrom, Sallie Robert, Pat Thompson, Cheryl Shaw, Savannah Tracey, Diane Johnson and Kerrie Randell.

Elaine Valk remembers what it was like to work in the Sutton Public Schools before education support professionals formed a union.

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Conversations at Heart of Campaign

All In

Unions are bracing for the impact of a case brought to the U.S. Supreme Court that could strip them of their right to collect “fair-share” fees from nonmembers.

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NEWs and UPDATES