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Why does being involved in the union help education?

We educators know what is right for our schools and colleges. Amidst the attacks leveled on education, our union makes sure that our voices as frontline educational professionals are heard. Joining a union means standing together with a strong unified voice — whether it is in your workplace, in your community, in the media, in the state Legislature or the halls of Congress. We stand up for what’s right for our schools and our students.

Because we are stronger together!

We use the power of collective action to improve our working conditions so that we have what it takes to educate effectively. This includes reasonable workloads, adequate materials and supplies, sensible policies that support safe and healthy places of learning, and stemming the abuse of part-time and temporary jobs.

The union helps educators organize to promote education, and defends you against bad ideas from administrators, legislators, and self-appointed “reformers” who want to dismantle public education. Through your collective bargaining contract, you are ensured basic worksite protections, competitive salaries, decent health care, and a secure retirement. We are a community of colleagues joined together for the common good.

With the union, we have organized to improve working conditions, salary, and job security. Now we can focus on our students.

- Susan Hilliker, Faculty member, Life Chiropractic College West Faculty Federation, Local 6358

What’s at stake in the coming months?

While the benefits of Proposition 30 have been energizing, new assaults are multiplying. The lawsuit, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association sought to eliminate current union “fair share” provisions, also called “agency fee.” In January 2016, the court ruled 4-4 on the lawsuit after the death of conservative Judge Antonin Scalia. If similar lawsuits are reintroduced and upheld, the funds available to unions would dwindle while non-paying bargaining unit members would continue to benefit from union representation at no charge.

Although California remains a stronghold of union membership, federal cases would affect California the same as any other state.

When Freidrichs was viewed alongside anti-union legislation nationwide, a clear picture emerged. Fifteen states have passed laws limiting collective bargaining and 25 states have introduced right-to-work legislation, or as the labor movement calls it, “right-to-work-for-less.” When Indiana passed right-to-work legislation in 2012, within less than a year, union membership fell by 56,000.

In states where union fair share has been eliminated, union members have been barraged by well-financed, right-wing campaigns that include phone calls, mail pieces, ads, billboards, and social media posts urging them to withdraw from their unions.

With this in mind, the CFT developed a campaign called “Building Power.” And "We want to Count You In!"

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