Monday, July 30, 2018
Within hours of the announcement of the Supreme Court ruling in the Janus case, organizations funded by big corporations began a nationwide campaign to encourage workers to leave their unions.
One such campaign is funded by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and organization based in Michigan.
According to an analysis of tax filings by the website Conservative Transparency, the top contributors to the Mackinac Center specifically include the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, and the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (formerly the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation). These are the family foundations of the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and her husband's parents. Mrs. DeVos was herself on the Board of Directors of her family foundations right up until she took the position of Education Secretary in 2016.
A more local anti-union group has sprung up here in New York called New Choice NY. Despite the possible ethical issues associated with trolling professional educators, New Choice has been sending anti-union messages to teachers on the school email accounts they use for professional contacts with colleagues and correspondences with parents.
In direct response to New Choice, NYSUT has started a counter campaign, asking members to email the leader of New Choice, Bob Bellaforte, and inform him that they are sticking with their union.
Click here to go to a page on the NYSUT website where you can send your email.
In the coming weeks, months, even years, members of anti-union groups will be attempting to contact us, on the phone, through the mail, through email and through social media, with solicitations regarding leaving the union. Their "sales pitch" is that not paying your fair share of fees for union services will put a few more dollars into your pockets and, according to them, will have no impact whatsoever on the benefits and services provided for you by your union.
However, as so many circumstances have shown, reduced union participation leads to weaker negotiating strength at the bargaining table. The result of that is always, fewer union jobs, less job security, lower wages, reduced and eliminated benefits and worsening working conditions. AND, of course, more money in the pockets of corporations who make more when workers make less.
The solution for all of us is simple, if approached in any way by so-called right to work groups, JUST SAY NO and stay union strong.