The Education Association of Worcester is angered that the U.S. Supreme Court sided with right-wing billionaires in their attacks on workers and unions in the Janus v. AFSCME case. But we are neither surprised nor intimidated.
We know that our ability to organize and to bargain fair contracts means that our students have access to the best possible education and that our community’s public school employees are treated fairly.
The forces behind the Janus case do not want educators and other public employees to have a voice in the workplace or in the community. But we will not be silenced. We will continue to organize and advocate on behalf of our students, our schools and our communities.
We know that with strong unions:
• Workers benefit because they are able to protect and maintain their quality of life through collective bargaining, which leads to fair compensation and equitable treatment.
• Families and communities benefit because unions fight for a just society. Unions advocate for laws and policies concerning health and safety, retirement security, 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. Educators’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. Unions advocate for small class sizes, more learning and less standardized testing, and funding for public schools and colleges, among other issues. Studies show that student performance is higher in states with substantial rates of educator unionization than it is in so-called “right to work” states.
Despite the Supreme Court’s misguided decision in the Janus case, we are confident that the vast majority of members will remain in our union because they understand the importance of employees having collective power that can be exercised to benefit the public good.