In the very near future, the U.S.
Supreme Court will make a decision on Janus
v. AFSCME Council 31.
Like you, we are waiting on the
decision and the exact effect it will have on our union.
No matter the outcome, every IAFF
affiliate, regardless of the state it is in, should view the Janus decision as
an opportunity to engage our members while showcasing the value your local,
state and International union provide every day.
We urge affiliate leaders to take
these initial steps ahead of the Supreme Court decision:
- Review, Enhance and Work to
Strengthen Your Communication Infrastructure. How you communicate with your
members is important. How they communicate with you is even more
important. Make sure you have up-to-date contact information for your
members so they can stay informed and give you their ideas, wants and
- Talk to Your Lawyers. Now is the time to have the
conversation with your local attorney to evaluate any potential changes to
the environment you work in.
- Talk to Your Employers. Where possible, work together
with your employer to address how a negative decision on Janus might be
communicated to your members and the actions your employer will be taking
to stop agency fee pay.
If you already demonstrate your
value every day, keep doing what you have been doing. The IAFF has strong
affiliates that already operate under Janus-like rules in right-to-work states.
They stand as a great example for other affiliates looking to show members the
value of union membership.
While the intent of Janus is to
try to undermine our IAFF and other unions, it is important that we remain
focused while continuing to do the great work we do every day that shows value
to our members.
In the coming days, we will
provide you with more guidance and education materials on this issue. We will
have a national statement and other tools for you to use with your members and
If you need additional ideas,
more information or to talk to someone, contact your District Vice President.
Janus v. AFSCME Local
a challenge to a 40-year-old precedent that allows public sector labor unions
in non-right to work states to collect agency or fair share fees from
individuals who are part of the bargaining unit but not members of the union.
It is widely expected that the Supreme Court will overturn that precedent and
the agency fee will be eliminated.