AAUP Statement On Supreme Court’s Ruling In Janus v. AFSCME Council 31
Washington, D.C. – In response to the US Supreme Court’s 5-4 verdict in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, the American Association of University Professors issued this statement from its president, Rudy Fichtenbaum:
Today, a narrow majority of Supreme Court justices issued a long awaited decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a case advanced by wealthy special interests. Although this decision was not unexpected, we are disappointed by the opinion of the majority. At issue was whether non-union members, who share in the wages, benefits, and protections that have been negotiated into a collectively bargained contract, may be required to pay their fair share for the cost. The court ruled that they may not.
Those AAUP chapters that have been formally recognized as unions negotiate legally enforceable contracts that incorporate AAUP principles. This ruling makes their job more difficult.
On the surface, this case may seem like a technical one that doesn’t affect many faculty. But Janus and similar court cases and legislative initiatives are part of a broad assault on public institutions and the common good. They seek to roll back protections for working people, lessen public support for civic building blocks such as education, and diminish the ability of unions to have a positive impact.
AAUP members and chapters on campuses across the country advocate for academic freedom, professional values and standards, and the faculty voice in higher education. They help ensure that our students have challenging learning environments and strengthen our institutions of higher education.
Make no mistake, our fight as AAUP members to have a positive impact on our colleges and universities, to strengthen public higher education, and to protect academic freedom is not over. Together, we will continue to fight for our students, our campuses, and our communities. We will continue to say, loudly and clearly, that strong universities and well-educated citizens are essential to our survival as a democracy. That’s why our work as educators, union members, and advocates has never been more important than it is now.
– Rudy Fichtenbaum, President, AAUP