Brothers and Sisters,
The Supreme Court of the United States today voted to take up the case of Janus v. AFSCME which will bar public-sector unions from collecting fair-share fees from non-members and allow non-members to free-ride on the benefits negotiated by the Union from the employer.
Imagine there are no roads, schools, fire/EMS and police departments, courts or military defense. None of these critical government services would exist if we did not pay for them in the form of taxes. If taxes were not required some folks would certainly chip-in to help provide some level of services for the whole, but the amount of people who would not, and still benefit, would cripple our society. You wouldn't even want to imagine living in such a place!
Like our government, every Union member has a vote and can run for Union-offices. They operate under a Constitution & By-Laws and there are repercussions for violating said. By standing together Union members use their collective-voice to negotiate better wages, hours, benefits, working conditions, due process, and the like. All the Union asks is that everyone chip-in equally, in the form of dues, for the costs of their representation.
Union dues are taxes to ensure a better workplace and all Americans benefit from Unions whether they are members or not. If you are making a minimum wage or overtime, off of work because of vacation, sick or maternity/paternity leave, have a safe workplace, getting a lunch break, receiving disability or retirement benefits, or just looking forward to the weekend, you have benefited from a union’s work at some point.
All we can do at this point is to spread the word about how important Unions are to raising the standard of living for all Americans. Only public sentiment can influence the court now. Share this with your members and educate them on the importance of belonging and contributing to their Union.
Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters