As expected, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, against workers and their rights to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. The case, Janus v. AFSCME, makes the entire public sector “right-to-work”, which is an ironic moniker for having no rights at work.
By allowing non-members to pay nothing for the services and benefits that having a Union provide; such as grievance representation, collectively bargained raises and benefits, and due process rights for discipline, the purpose of this decision is to undermine the Union, cause division among members and non-members, and make it more difficult to fight for our members.
There are open questions from the decision, such as the extent to which a non-member is still covered under our contract and whether they receive any representation from the Union if they pay no representation fee or dues.
The Janus ruling is a blow, to say the least, but it cannot and will not defeat us. Here in New Jersey, we stood together through eight years of one of the most anti-worker administrations in this state’s history. By standing together and standing firm, we fought off the worst proposals and emerged with a new administration and a new Contract. Make no mistake, we only made it through to this point by standing together as a Union. When we stand together and commit to fighting for one another we will not only survive whatever they throw at us but grow stronger as a result.
Please also understand that having a Union is what gives us the ability to fight for raises, benefits, and due process protections. Without a strong Union with vigiliant membership, ALL of those things are at risk, including the Contract that we ratified today.
Right now, solidarity and unity are more important than ever. We have no time to mourn, grumble, or pout.
Janus does one thing for certain – there are no more sidelines. There are members of the Union, fighting to protect one another and what we have gained by building power for workplace justice, and then there are people outside the Union, who are not a part of it. Our members are our strength and will continue to be.
In the last month alone, CWA 1036 has been working hard for members:
- Settled the PNCR Contract, with an overwhelming majority in support;
- Successfully defended our right to progression payments;
- Fought to preserve and defend our pension system;
- Protected members and non-members from the malfeasance of certain managers;
- Signed up almost 100 new members;
- Held dozens of worksite meetings across the state, keeping members informed about everything from workplace to international issues important to workers and their families;
- Are CURRENTLY fighting to stop a state shutdown and make sure that any budget that passes does not endanger our healthcare or pensions
This is the work that our MEMBERS do.
These are the victories that our MEMBERS win.
None of it is guaranteed unless we keep fighting for it.
PS - For more information on this decision, please visit: