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How does the Janus case affect me?

Many of the news reports about the Janus v. AFSCME case tout the loss of Union Dues as the demise of organized labor specifically in the public sector. When Union Members act collectively in solidarity they represent a powerful group that significantly impacts the negotiation of fair sal aries, working conditions, health care and pensions. Recently, the public-school teachers in West Virginia joined in an action protesting how higher health care costs and the lack of raises for the past few years had eroded their ability to be engaged in the American Dream. After nine days, the legislature approved a five percent salary increase because of their collective action and solidarity.

The UCPEA contract has a thirty-five-hour work week, paid holidays, fifteen sick days, two personal leave days and twenty-two vacation days for each member. The contract also has a Professional Development pool, child care reimbursement, tuition reimbursement funds and a tuition waiver for dependent children and strong layoff notice period language. In addition to these benefits, the UCPEA contract also provides for the right to due process and union representation. These along with many other benefits were hard fought victories gained through the collective bargaining process o ver the last forty years.

The benefits we have today would not exist without a strong collective bargaining process. The benefits we have today will cease to exist over time without a strong collective bargaining process. We have all been witness to the recent budget crises at the state and university levels where any changes in our working conditions and benefits were the result of negotiations. Without collective bargaining, changes could and would be made without our input.

The anti-union mindset on both the national and state levels are often associated with the “Right to Work” movement. The “Right to Work” movement is a group of wealthy corporate CEO’s, hedge fund and Wall Street money managers that want to eliminate union power by dividing members and non-members. “Right to Work” really means the right to work for less that you did before. Studies show that unions not only negotiate fair wages and working conditions for its members, but the me re existence of unions helps to raise wages and working conditions for non-union workers as well.

Here are a few facts:

• Median weekly earnings for union members are 27% higher than non-union workers

• 88% of union members are in a traditional pension plan compared to 49% of non-union workers

• 84% of union members have paid sick leave compared to 62% of non-union workers

Belonging to UCPEA means job security, due process and the right to representation, salary increases, paid vacations and sick leave, affordable health insurance and pensions that will provide you a continued quality of life in retirement.

Recommit to UCPEA today by completing a new Membership card. For more information on Janus v. AFSCME please visit:

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