July 1, 2018
Respond to Supreme Court’s anti-union decision by taking the #RedForEd pledge
On June 27, the last day of the session, the Supreme Court undermined the ability of unions and educators to come together and bargain collectively on students’ behalf with its ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. In a 5-to-4 decision that cast aside decades of precedents and laws, the court eliminated public-sector unions’ ability to collect “fair share” or “agency” fees from workers who are not union members, but still benefit from union agreements and representation – for example, during grievance proceedings. “This case was nothing more than a blatant political attack to further rig our economy and democracy against everyday Americans in favor of the wealthy and powerful,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. We must respond by coming together to advocate for students like never before. Click on the button and take the #RedForEd pledge for public schools.
Tell senators to let voters speak before confirming Supreme Court nominee
President Trump will soon send the Senate a nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement from the Supreme Court on June 27. The president’s “shortlist” is marked by individuals with disturbing records of protecting the wealthy and powerful, but not the rights and freedoms of all Americans. The next Supreme Court justice could decide every issue we care about for decades to come. The last thing we need is another partisan justice who sides with big corporations over protecting health care, civil rights, and treating working people fairly. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) set the standard: no Supreme Court nominee should be considered before a consequential election like the one a few months from now, where control of the Senate is at stake. Click on the take action button and tell your senators not to confirm any Supreme Court nominee until after the November elections.
House defeats hateful anti-immigrant bill by big margin
Once again, your advocacy played a key role in an important victory. By a vote of 121-301, the House resoundingly rejected the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (H.R. 6136) that wastes billions of dollars on a border wall, calls for detaining children and families seeking asylum, and does NOT offer a reasonable a path to citizenship – 82 percent of Dreamers would not be helped at all. NEA has long advocated for the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440), the approach the vast majority of Americans support. But GOP leadership refuses even to allow a vote on the Dream Act. Stay tuned for further developments in future issues of the Education Insider.
Cheers and Jeers
Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Terri Sewell (D-AL), John Lewis (D-GA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Judy Chu (D-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), John Sarbanes (D-MD), and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for their work highlighting discriminatory voting measures and the state of voting rights five years after Shelby County v. Holder, the landmark Supreme Court decision that gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act
Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) for his response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME: “As a former union firefighter and the grandson of a United Mine Workers representative, labor is in my blood. Unions have played an instrumental role in strengthening the hand of America’s working men and women for generations. It is only right that workers who receive higher pay, benefits, and workplace protections contribute their fair share of the costs. While this position may not always be popular in my party, for me it’s one that rises above politics.”
Numerous Democrats who decried the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME and expressed support for NEA and other unions
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) for introducing and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto.(D-NV), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) for co-sponsoring the Senate version of the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act (S. 3151) to ensure that public-sector employees have the legal right to form and join unions, and bargain collectively over wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) for introducing and Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Don Beyer (D-VA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gene Green (D-TX), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) for co-sponsoring the House version of the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act (H.R. 6238) to ensure that public-sector employees have the legal right to form and join unions, and bargain collectively over wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for violating his own standard for Supreme Court nominees: “The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide,” he said in 2016.