Why Janus Matters
Janus v. AFSCME is an attack on workers’ collective bargaining rights and collective power.
The Janus case is an attempt by wealthy special interests to undermine the power of working men and women when they organize, bargain collectively and fight for a better life for themselves, their families and the community — for the public good.
Corporate privatizers, CEOs and billionaires are behind the case.
The same forces that brought us Question 2 — and that are seeking to privatize and shrink public education and other services — are behind this case. They include the Koch brothers, the Waltons and the State Policy Network, a well-funded group of right-wing think tanks whose primary goal is to “defund and defang” public employee unions.
We are standing up for our right to build strong unions and protect workers, their families and our communities.
On Feb. 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Janus case. MTA members stood in solidarity with union members across the country to support our right to join and build unions to give workers a collective voice.
Unions benefit working people and the common good.
- Unionized workers benefit when we can organize collectively to negotiate for fair pay and benefits and good working conditions. Weakening unions leads to lower compensation — which is what our opponents want. Since public employee unions were gutted in Wisconsin in 2011, for example, median pay and benefits for teachers in the state have declined by $10,842.
- Non-union workers benefit because compensation rises for everyone when unions are able to negotiate fair pay and benefits. When unions are strong, all workers are stronger. When unions are weak, income inequality grows.
- The general public benefits because unions advocate for laws and policies that help everyone, including health and safety regulations, retirement security, employer-supported health insurance, due process rights, equal pay for equal work, paid family and medical leave, and racial and economic justice.
- Students benefit from educators’ unions. That’s because educators’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. For example, unions advocate for small class sizes since teachers can meet individual student needs better in smaller classes — benefiting both teachers and students. It’s no surprise that studies show student performance is higher in states with high rates of educator unionization than in so-called “Right to Work” states.