Saturday, September 25, 2021
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This piece was written by KPI university student David Dorsey. David spent 19 years teaching in Iowa public school classrooms.

Lost in all of the hullaballoo over the U.S. Substantial Court’s recent Janus decision is the experience of irony in the very identity of the case. On June 27 the Court decided during Janus v. AFSCME that union costs cannot be compelled from general population employees, thus ending forty years of extracting dues coming from non-members that, among other things might have recommended causes a (non)member don’t support. It is hailed as the victory for freedom connected with speech advocates but chastised by way of those on the left exactly who feel judicial precedent is more critical than constitutional rights. Justice Alito, that wrote for the majority stated, “We conclude that this arrangement violates the disposable speech rights of nonmembers by means of compelling them to subsidize private talk on matters of large public concern.”

So, what’s up with all the name? In this case, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Janus coincidentally is actually the Roman god for all suspected signs (the month of January is named for Janus). Janus is obviously depicted with two looks, symbolizing the past and the long term. That makes this court case any double irony, to silver coin a phrase.

The dual faces connected with Janus are now symbolic of a new get started for all public-sector employees C not just course instructors. No longer do they have to face previous times practices of having paychecks raided because of the unions to finance political pursuits contrary to their beliefs. How the album works face a future free from this kind of intrusion on their constitutional right for free speech.

But being Janus-faced also has a duplicitous connotation, similar to an accusation of being two-faced.

Teachers unions have always been Janus-faced. ?Struggling with one side, the Kansas Country wide Education Association (KNEA) C the unification I had the privilege not to join C claims to be supporters of teachers and students. They put it right in their goal statement:

Kansas National Education Association’ersus mission is to advocate with regard to education professionals and to come together our members, Kansans, and the land to fulfill the promise of open public education to prepare every university student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent planet.

However, former teacher (and old union member) Erika Sanzi reveals additional face. Sanzi, writing for the Johnson B. Fordham Institute, describes her much different union experience compared to the one scribed by KNEA. When it arrived at guarding their members she

witnessed the behavior with union lawyers who, for their quest to protect teachers that were literally damaging kids, could say and do the almost all despicable things I’d ever seen in a room full of parents. They would lie, insult, as well as bully just to secure benefits for their members that they suspected would be detrimental for students. So they did it with a bluster that made it seem like the well-being of students quite literally hardly ever crossed their minds-it wasn’t with regards to kids. Period.

As a non-union educator I was never able to witness directly what Ms. Sanzi have, but I experienced working together with a handful of incompetent teachers C course instructors who clearly had no business directing a classroom C which jobs were saved because of the union. ?A few of them were guarded by the kind of lawyers Sanzi detailed, but more often the union represented an omnipresent risk that kept principals coming from even pursuing disciplinary actions. Your unions are all about protecting participants, even at the expense of trainees.

What will be the impact on Kansas? Luckily, Kansas remains a right-to-work condition, so union membership is not prescribed. Given that, one may think the Janus effect will be small. However, it may cause unionized public workforce (especially teachers) to pay deeper attention to the political functions of their union. It also may serve as an alarm that union program is not required, which is contrary to the meaning KNEA conveys to teachers, specially new ones.

The crucial message via Janus really has nothing to do with labor unions. It’s all about the importance of maintaining all of our most fundamentally protected constitutional proper: the freedom of speech. While speech is compelled, as in this case when union dues have been to support partisan political functions, the freedom part of freedom with speech is lost.



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