On Monday, February 26th, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME. The case is brought by Mark Janus, an Illinois public employee who is challenging compelled union dues. CIR filed an amicus brief in support of Janus on behalf of Ryan Yohn and the six other teacher plaintiffs in Yohn v. CTA, our case challenging compelled union dues and the burdensome union opt-out requirements.
Lead plaintiff Ryan Yohn wrote an editorial in The Orange County Register supporting Janus’ case. As Ryan explained:
“In my experience, teachers leave the union for a variety of reasons. Some, like Mark Janus, disagree with the union’s persistent efforts to raise salaries well past the average salary in the communities in which we teach. Others of us disagree with the union’s endless focus on seniority: where a teacher is assigned, what a teacher is paid, and the order in which teachers are laid off are all determined by the number of years a teacher has been teaching. Whether you agree that teachers instead should be paid, promoted and laid-off on the basis of merit, everyone can agree that it is wrong to force an employee to pay hundreds of dollars each year to support positions with which they disagree.”
CIR client and veteran teacher Bruce Aster also explained his support for Janus. In the San Diego Union-Tribune, he wrote:
“The unions have enjoyed an unjustified exception to the First Amendment for too long. While teachers who agree with the union should be free to contribute, teachers who have fundamental disagreements with the union should not be forced by state law to support the union’s politics with their hard-earned money. I hope Mr. Janus wins his case.”
Ryan Yohn, Bruce Aster, and Darren Miller – a third teacher plaintiff from Yohn v. CTA – all travelled to Washington, D.C. to speak at the Supreme Court and support Mark Janus. The three plaintiffs each spoke about why they oppose compelled union dues and support worker freedom.
You can hear more from Ryan and Bruce in the video above, where they talk with former CIR client Rebecca Friedrichs about their love of teaching and the problems of compelled union dues.
More about this case: