Union Library Workers Community
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday (3/29/2016) said it was unable to resolve a major challenge to organized labor, and the result was a defeat for a group of California teachers who claim their free speech rights are violated when they are forced to pay dues to the state’s teachers union.
The court said it was split 4 to 4 on the issue, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. It was the most important case yet in which the eight-member court was unable to reach a decision.
New regulations expand overtime coverage to higher earners
Schools across the country are bracing for a surge in personnel costs as they prepare for the Obama administration’s overhaul to overtime-pay rules.
The Labor Department proposal, due to be released in final form as soon as this summer, would make about 5 million U.S. workers newly eligible for overtime pay by more than doubling the salary threshold that generally determines who can and can’t get it.
While the rule will apply to employers of all kinds, higher-education institutions say their missions and circumstances mean they’ll be hit in ways that other types of employers aren’t. School officials, who say they’re under pressure to keep a lid on tuition, have warned of cuts in student services, degree offerings and labor-intensive research on issues such as climate change and cancer.
The University of California school system, for instance, faces a $39 million-a-year tab for raises to avoid paying overtime to thousands of postdoctoral scholars, librarians and specialists. The University of Iowa says it would limit work hours of staff. And a state university in Missouri could cut some employee benefits.
Published on Jan 12, 2016
Something important happened inside the Supreme Court on January 11th. But something just as important happened outside.
AFSCME members Stephen Mittons and Dovard Howard joined dozens of other public employees on the steps of the Court to reiterate the vital role their unions play in helping them serve their communities. As they spoke, inside the nine justices were hearing arguments in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association.
Stephen is a child protective investigator. He spoke to the crowd about how his union advocates for the resources he needs to keep Chicago’s most vulnerable children safe. Dovard ensures that his Southern California community has clean, safe drinking water.
Dovard and Stephen know that this upcoming Supreme Court case is just the next step in a decades-long campaign by corporate CEOS and wealthy special interests trying to make it even harder for working to come together, speak up, and get ahead.
As AFSCME members, we know that rich and powerful corporate interests want to weaken our union. That’s why, no matter what the Supreme Court decides, we must continue to fight together. We must never quit.
The court’s decision, expected by June, will affect millions of government workers of all kinds and may deal a sharp financial and political blow to public unions.
Mr. Elrich and nine other California teachers have sued the union, saying that they are being forced to pay to support positions with which they disagree, in violation of the First Amendment. Their lawsuit, if it is successful, will be the culmination of a decades-long legal campaign to undermine public unions.
Joe Hill saw his music as a weapon in the class war, composing songs to be sung on soapboxes, picket lines or in jail. And 100 years ago today, the forces of capital and the state of Utah executed him.
Chicago musician and scholar Bucky Halker is honoring the centennial with a CD of new interpretations of Hill’s music, “Anywhere But Utah—The Songs of Joe Hill,” taking his title from Hill’s dying wish that his remains be transported out of state because he didn’t want “to be found dead in Utah.” The album includes such familiar Hill classics as "The Preacher and the Slave," "There is Power in a Union" and "Rebel Girl" as well as some surprising obscurities, like the wistfully romantic "Come and Take a Joy-Ride in My Aeroplane."
Yesterday marked the first day of strike action in thirty years by the Seattle Education Association.
Elaine Harger (right) and a colleague, an ELL teacher
"My contribution to the line was copies of the lyrics to Solidarity Forever and recruiting our choir teacher to lead us in song, which he happily, joyfully, loudly, and beautifully did. The sense of unity was powerful!"
Happy LABOR DAY. Thanks to Sarah Barriage who posts at UNION LIBRARY WORKERS.
Latest is success of Workers at Mineola Memorial Library who have a new six-year collective agreement, retroactive to June 2012. The agreement includes increases in wages, longevity bonuses, and employer contributions to dental and optical insurance. The library workers are represented by the Library Employees Unit of the United Public Service Employees Union.