Monday. The SCOTUS and Harris v. Quinn.


We finished up the NEA Retired Conference this afternoon.

The three-day meeting addressed some issues that are of specific concern to retirees. Like Social Security offsets in states like Illinois.

But make no mistake about the interest that retired teachers have in current education and union issues.

The NEA Representative Assembly opens officially on Tuesday.

But the most important vote of the week may have already taken place by then.

Not here in Denver. But in Washington D.C.

Monday morning around 8 AM Denver time, the Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to announce its decision in the Harris v. Quinn case.

And you know you’re in trouble when Antonin Scalia might be the deciding vote.

It is a case that started in Illinois and on the micro-level concerned a home healthcare worker and the requirement to pay fair share to a union.

The principal is simple. In the local that I was a member of for 30 years our union bargained a contract for all the certified teachers. No teacher was required to join our Association. But every teacher was required by state law to pay their fair share to the union that bargained their contract. Since they shared in the benefits and working conditions the union bargained, every teacher was required to pay a fee for the benefits they received.

The Court may rule narrowly only in the case of the healthcare worker.

They may rule more broadly about fair share fees nationally.

They may rule more broadly about collective bargaining rights.

The big money behind this effort is the same money that brought the tenure case before a California court and won.

A union loss in Harris V. Quinn would be a win right out of the ALEC playbook.

4 thoughts on “Monday. The SCOTUS and Harris v. Quinn.

  1. What IS the status re: Social Security offsets and well as Windfall Elimination? I heard something about legislation stalled in (federal) committee. Thanks. Keep up the good work.
    Retired special ed. Suburban teacher.

  2. When the “anti-windfall” provision for Social Security was passed, my employer identified those who would likely be affected. We were informed and given the opportunity to quit. We could leave our jobs to seek employment elsewhere “without prejudice.” This was meaningless, of course.

    I had two kids and a mortgage. I was the sole bread winner. I would have had to start over from scratch. I couldn’t quit. I couldn’t afford to, so here I am, getting $272 per month from Social Security.

    AFSCME fought to keep Social Security available for some government employees, but my agency did not yet have representation. My wife gets her full Social Security, thanks to AFSCME. When I retired, Social Security warned me not to attempt claiming against her entitlement.

    I contacted Durban’s office and asked where he stood on efforts to roll back the windfall provision. Nothing doing.

    Subsequently he endorsed cutting COLAs for State retirees.

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