Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - July 19, 2018 


Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

Daily Newscasts

Teachers Praise SCOTUS Union Ruling

Teacher and National Education President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia is praising a U.S. Supreme Court decision reaffirming the rights of public-sector unions to charge so-called fair-share fees. (NEA)
Teacher and National Education President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia is praising a U.S. Supreme Court decision reaffirming the rights of public-sector unions to charge so-called fair-share fees. (NEA)
March 30, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In a deadlocked decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed the right of public-sector unions to charge so-called "fair share" fees. Teachers and unions are positively crowing.

By its 4-4 the court let stand a Ninth Circuit ruling that the California Teachers Association can charge the fees. They offset the unions' cost for contracts and grievance procedures for teachers who opt not to join the union but are still covered by collective bargaining.

National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen-Garcia said fair-share fees have worked well enough that even some employers asked the court to keep them.

"Local and county governments," she said. "There were school boards that said, 'You know, this actually makes sense. We're on the side of the unions on keeping the ability to do this.' "

Garcia, who was a teacher for 20 years, said people think bargaining only covers wages and benefits, but it also can cover the other things that teachers care about and that impact learning.

"We had some of our colleagues in Seattle collectively bargaining recess for their elementary kids," she said. "You end up with people bargaining things like whether or not a school has a school nurse."

This is the second deadlocked case since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The unions claimed it was an attempt at union-busting. Garcia said groups backed by the billionaire Koch brothers went so far as to cold-call teachers to recruit plaintiffs. In her view, the case was motivated by ideology.

"The same people who want to keep wages low, keep public services like public schools under-funded, have always been out to silence our voice," she said.

Conservative groups backing the lawsuit argued that fair-share fees violate nonunion members' free-speech and free-assembly rights. The unions have said that even people covered by their contracts are not required to join and don't have to pay to back any of their political efforts.

More information is online at nea.org.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV