Journal of Academic Freedom Vol. 8
Did you know that an upcoming US Supreme Court case could have a profound impact on the rights of faculty and all Americans to work together for our rights to free expression and safe, just workplaces? The case is part of a broad effort to weaken the voice of working men and women joined in unions. The AAUP is fighting these attacks.
Several court cases and legislative initiatives being pursued across the country aim to weaken the rights of working people, erode and privatize our public institutions, and further exacerbate the power imbalances in our economy. In particular, a ruling in the case Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, to be heard by the US Supreme Court this term, could result in workers in the public sector, including faculty who are joined in unions, losing the right to collect contributions from all who are represented.
This would ultimately harm faculty members, our students, and our campuses. Standing together makes it possible to negotiate safe workplaces, reasonable teaching loads, a fair return on work, and the ability to retire with dignity. Faculty in unions defend academic freedom, standards in public higher education, shared governance, and due process protections.
The case is an attempt by powerful corporate interests to damage the public sector. We plan to submit an amicus brief in this case.
Here’s what you can do on the local level:
Stay informed. Stay engaged. Continue advocating for your campus community, your students, and higher education as a public good. Help organize your fellow faculty members to exercise a voice on campus. Together we are stronger.
Regardless of the outcome of this case, challenges to our profession, higher education and our collective voice will continue. It’s more important than ever that we stand together. Our collective action makes it possible to defend the very best values of higher education. Thanks for being a part of it.
P.S. A great way to support the continued legal work of the AAUP is to donate to the AAUP Foundation's Legal Defense Fund. Click here to donate.