If, as expected, the Supreme Court rules against unions and takes away the right to fair share, you will be hard pressed to overestimate the damage it will do to unions.
In Illinois there are about 600 teacher locals with barely more than voluntary leadership, assisted by staff Uniserv Directors that often have a dozen locals they work with.
I have been out the loop for a couple of years. Yet it is difficult for me to imagine that the IEA is any where close to being prepared for the results of losing fair share.
And those local active leaders I talk with tell me pretty much the same thing.
The bottom line in 2019 is that the IEA locals will have to essentially certify every year by signing up every member again. And again the following year. And again the following year.
That will be a hell of a challenge.
Local boards of education must be excited as can be.
Six years after Gov. Scott Walker and state Republicans made labor unions’ ability to retain members much more difficult, fewer than half of the state’s 422 school districts have certified unions.
In the latest certification election — held in November and required by Walker’s signature 2011 legislation known as Act 10 — staff and teachers in 199 school districts voted to remain in a bargaining unit, or 47 percent, according to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.
To remain certified, 51 percent of the bargaining unit’s members must vote in favor of keeping the union. If an eligible member doesn’t vote, that person is counted as voting against remaining certified.
This is late in the game for the IEA and other state and local unions to gear up for life under Janus.
I still remember the conversation I had with the then-executive director of the IEA. This was a couple of years before he went to the Department of Education to advise Arne Duncan.
“The days of fighting for collective bargaining are over,” he told me.