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The Death of Collective Bargaining?

The Death of Collective Bargaining?

Jan 03, 2018

SCOTUS is set to hear a landmark case on states’ requiring public sector union membership – with dim prospects for the future of collective bargaining.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a landmark ruling on public sector union membership later this year in Janus v the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), to be heard either this month or next.

The case pits Mark Janus, the plaintiff and an Illinois state employee, against the AFSCME, which represents Illinois’ 35,000 public sector employees. Janus argues that he shouldn’t have to pay his union dues; AFSCME argues that he, like all his fellow public sector employees, benefits from collective bargaining in the form of higher wages and benefits.’

Union advocates fear that with a likely 5-4 decision in favor of Janus (because of SCOTUS’s current conservative majority bench) public sector union membership is set to drop precipitously.

Over the past 20 years, public sector teacher union membership has declined to about 70% nationwide – compared to 79% in 1999-2000. Public sector teacher wages have followed suit: over roughly the same period, a public school teacher’s average weekly wages fell to $1,092 from $1,122 (in 2015 dollars). Case in point: when Wisconsin limited collective bargaining in 2010, public school teachers’ average annual pay fell 8%, or $6,500.

But there’s more to the picture: as of 2015, the (widening) wage gap between male and female public school teachers was a disappointing 19.5% in union-friendly states. But female teachers not represented by a union fare even worse: for them, the wage gap stands at 25.5%.

Watch this space.

banner image from https://www.the74million.org/janus-case-agency-fees-top-things-to-know/

Janus v. AFSCME: 5 Things to Know About the Latest Union Dues Case Headed to the High Court https://www.the74million.org/janus-case-agency-fees-top-things-to-know/

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