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AFFT in The Philadelphia Inquirer: Public sector union employees deserve more power over their leadership

A member of Americans for Fair Treatment was quoted in an opinion editorial in The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Philadelphia teacher and former Philadelphia Federation of Teachers member Rochelle Porto told me that’s “a total misrepresentation.” According to Porto, HB 950 will diminish the individual rights of public union members. The proposed amendment undermines the ability of the legislature to do its job and allows collective bargaining agreements to trump state law, giving union executives more power than the people elected by voters.

Porto said this would be a devastating setback to public union employees who already struggle against bosses like Jordan. When she became a teacher in 1999, she said she was told to join a union as a condition of her employment.

She decided to quit the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in 2010 after her local union rep’s ineptitude while representing her during a dispute. Worse, she said, she found out her union bosses were using the dues and political action committee money they took from her paycheck to support politicians and causes she abhorred.

“They never offered me a choice or a chance to voice my own opinion,” Porto told me. She felt powerless.

Even if Porto succeeded in resigning from the union, she still had to pay the union fees — that is, until the 2018 Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court decision. The court found that nonunion government workers cannot be required to pay union fees as a condition of working in public service — doing so is a violation of members’ free speech and freedom of association.

You can read the full opinion editorial here.

Americans for Fair Treatment

Americans for Fair Treatment is a free, membership, non-profit organization designed to help public sector workers exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of coercion from unions.