Nat Malkus is a resident scholar in education policy at AEI.
On the last day of its 2017-2018 term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus vs. AFSCME that public employee unions can no longer collect agency fees from non-members. Clint Bolick, an associate justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss why the U.S. Supreme Court felt it was necessary to overrule a decision from the 1970s allowing agency fees.
Only 25% of the public favor collecting union dues from non-members.
NPR’s Anya Kamenetz and Cory Turner consider what the Janus ruling will mean for teachers uions in an article that draws on research by Bradley D. Marianno and Katharine O. Strunk that was published recently in Education Next.
When it comes to agency fees, the nays have it by a clear majority. No less than 56% of the general public and 54% of public school teachers are opposed.
EdStat: Following the Janus Supreme Court Decision, Unions in 22 States Can No Longer Collect Agency Fees
Six states had already passed right-to-work legislation removing unions’ rights to assess agency fees.
Reflections on the Janus v. AFSCME ruling, from the plaintiff in a similar case
EdStat: In the Five Years After Right-to-Work Reform, Union-Dues Revenue per Teacher Decreased by $316 in Wisconsin
These figures suggest that, in right-to-work states, teachers unions lost power not only in numbers, but also in terms of dollar resources.
EdStat: In the Five Years Following Right-to-Work Reform in Wisconsin, the National Education Association (NEA) Affiliate Lost Approximately 52 Percent of its Members
During the same period of time, trends in agency-shop states remained stable.
EdStat: The National Education Association is Currently Estimating Membership Losses at 300,000 Nationwide
Membership losses will result in a steep decline in revenue.
An upcoming Supreme Court decision might end the controversial practice of allowing public-sector unions to collect agency fees.
A new era of teachers union activism
When everyone starts hitching their competing agendas to the siren call of “justice,” public decisions morph into a carnival of clashing absolutes. This makes it harder to find common ground.
The teacher strikes have quickly gone from a plucky fight over paychecks to an increasingly polarizing progressive crusade over tax and spending policy.
Ten weeks ago, hardly anyone saw West Virginia and Oklahoma coming.
Maybe we need to rethink how teachers’ pay schedules are structured.
Could labor activism mean that unions are getting weaker?
Power and the West Virginia teachers’ strike
EdStat: Being Exposed to a Duty-to-Bargain Law for All 12 Years of Schooling Reduces Male Earnings by Almost $1,500 Per Year
“Duty-to-bargain” laws require school districts to negotiate with teachers unions in good faith.
We should not discount unions’ ability to adapt their political strategies to find influence even when the pendulum is swinging away from their interests.
The evidence suggests that teacher collective bargaining leads to worse student outcomes that are reflected in long-run labor market success.
There’s emerging evidence that what’s in collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) can influence important outcomes.
High court hears oral argument in Janus v. AFSCME
Forty-four percent of the public oppose the practice of requiring teachers to pay fees to unions they choose not to join, while just 37% support the practice.
If the Court rules against agency fees it would cause teachers unions’ membership to shrink and the unions’ political and economic wings to be clipped.