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Chicago Tribune: How AFSCME’s demands invited the Janus case

UPDATE: OPINION TO BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW. I am in my office again this morning waiting for the High Court to issue opinions starting at 10:00 AM EST; we may hear on Janus this morning. If we do not, we will hear sometime this week. I got a sweet note from Mark Janus this morning. He is in D.C. waiting for the High Court to rule on Janus v AFSCME. He forwarded the damning Editorial from the Chicago Tribune to share with you....

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Overturning ‘fair share’ union fees would restore balance

Many public employees object to union policies. The Supreme Court is in a position to overturn a requirement of "fair share" fees.  This op-ed originally appeared in the Star Tribune on June 21, 2018. Minnesota law requires public employees to fund unions even when they are not a member and they object to union policies. Once certified, unions get the revenue just for showing up; the state even collects the dues, at no charge. What would happen if public-sector unions like Education Minnesota had to earn revenue from teachers and other public employees? We may soon find out. The U.S. Supreme Court is...

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Will the High Court Stop Forced Union Fees for Public Employees?

We are standing by live right now to see if the Supreme Court rules in favor of restoring the First Amendment rights of public employees; in Janus v Afscme, the Court has been asked to overturn a 1977 decision that forces them to pay agency fees to a union.  If the Court does not rule today, it could rule Friday, or next Monday--or another day next week. But it will rule by June 29. ...

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Let’s Talk Janus on MPR Tuesday with Kerri Miller: Public Employee Union Case

Kim Crockett will join Kerri Miller on MPR tomorrow, Tuesday June 19th for an hour at 9:00 AM (91.1 FM) to discuss the public employee union fee case, Janus v Afscme. They will be joined by Jon Shelton, who studies the history of unions at UW-Green Bay. The High Court will rule by the end of June. Please join the conversation by calling 651-227-6000 or 800-242-2828....

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Survey Says: MN teachers have heard very little, if anything, about Janus case

The Supreme Court has up to another month to rule on Janus v. AFSCME, a case asking the High Court to overturn a 1977 decision that forces government employees to pay agency fees to a union. The court’s upcoming ruling could significantly impact millions of public workers, including thousands of teachers in the state of Minnesota. But as of April 2018, 70 percent of Minnesota teachers had heard not much (27 percent) or nothing (43 percent) about Janus v. AFSCME, according to a national survey by Educators for Excellence (E4E). This shows how important it is to help our teachers understand...

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Good News: Assaulted Para-Teacher Will Recover. Bad News: Schools are Really Dangerous for Teachers

Where is the teachers’ union? Teachers are being assaulted. At work. Where is their union? Is it calling for tough discipline, or throwing kids out of school who hurt and maim teachers? Is it demanding that police reports are filed? ...

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Pension Funding: the Pension Problem Will Return, Again

The pension bill, which Gov. Mark Dayton supports, is expected to become law though some lawmakers are stunned at the growing expense. Pensions are supposed to be covered by employer and employee contributions that are then invested by the state, but Minnesota stopped paying the full cost of pensions in the early 2000s. Imagine if you did that with your mortgage and then tried to catch up to avoid foreclosure....

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True Teacher Appreciation: Restoring educators’ voice and choice

Teachers were celebrated last week during National Teacher Appreciation Week. But even though the five days of nationally honoring educators has come and gone, teachers can and should continue to be recognized and supported outside the second week of May. In order to acknowledge what they really need—and deserve—we need to listen to their voices and restore respect for their choices. A new project called Educated Teachers MN will equip teachers with resources and knowledge to help them better understand issues they have asked for more voice on—from student behavior and paperwork to union membership and pension plans. It will...

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Educated Teachers Project Launches Statewide Information Campaign

A new project launched on National Teacher Appreciation Day, Educated Teachers MN aims to inform and empower Minnesota K-12 educators by raising awareness of a U.S. Supreme Court case widely expected to end the forced payment of union dues and fees by teachers and other government employees as a condition of employment. In 2016-2017 Education Minnesota collected over $50 million in dues and fees from 75,000 teachers statewide that were used for collective bargaining, lobbying and advancing the union’s political agenda. But Education Minnesota, AFSCME-5 and other statewide public employee unions are already bracing for the potential loss of thousands of members...

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Teacher workplace democracy is a principle but not a practice

Workplace democracy is, unfortunately, a short-lived promise to teachers in Minnesota. While teachers’ unions often claim to favor a democratic approach to our public education system, teachers are rendered mute when it comes to choosing their own union. Workplace democracy is a principle, not a practice. ...

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