On June 27, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the Janus v AFSCME case. The takeaway from the decision is that agency fees (otherwise known as “fair share” fees) are not constitutional in public-sector unions. This decision affects 22 states that allow such agency shop arrangements, including California.
Effective immediately, California teachers and educators that work for publicly funded traditional or charter schools, as well as community colleges and the CSU and UC systems, cannot be charged any fees without their consent.
For teachers that are currently agency fee payers, this means that the next paycheck they draw should not have any fees deducted. For those that are members, this decision presents a new choice between full membership in the teachers’ union and the associated fees or opting out of union membership and not having to pay any fees.
The process for opting out of membership may well get some tweaks in the coming weeks and months, but the Supreme Court’s plain language in its decision makes it clear that a teacher, by clearly communicating (in writing would be advisable) with their union and employer that they no longer want to be a member, would indicate clearly that he/she does not consent to further payments of fees or dues.
Teacher Guardian represents an alternative to union membership for California teachers that choose to drop their union membership but want the security of having a group of experienced labor and legal representatives should the need for such representation ever arise. For a fraction of the cost of what teachers and educators currently pay in union dues (or agency fees), Teacher Guardian provides the best representation possible, all without the politics.