Kathy McCollum is a public school teacher in Wasilla, Alaska
The Supreme Court ruled wisely Wednesday that requiring public employees to pay money to a union in order to be allowed to work violates the First Amendment rights of the employees. The 5-4 ruling means all public employees, regardless of where they live, will finally have a choice about whether to help fund or associate with a government union.
Thanks to right-to-work laws, people in 28 states have until now enjoyed more freedom than the rest of us. But the Supreme Court evened the score for public employees with Monday’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME (the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).
In my home state of Alaska, teachers and other public employees are forced to pay fees to unions they didn’t choose to represent them, in order to hold the jobs they love.
Before moving to Alaska, I was a teacher in Idaho, a right-to-work state, where membership in a union is a choice. I chose not to belong.