We are
education
workers
united

 fighting for a better future for ourselves, our families and our communities.

UNITED WE BARGAIN,
DIVIDED WE BEG

Janus vs AFSCME: The attack on our union, our bargaining power, our livelihoods

Public sector workers across the country—including school employees—are facing attacks by anti-union groups. A recent decision in a Supreme Court case—Janus vs AFSCME—is the latest attack that aims to break the collective bargaining power we have through our union. If you don’t know what collective bargaining power is and why it matters to you, see this short video, or just know two important facts about it:

  1. Collective bargaining gives you and every one of your co-workers a legally-binding contract with your employer that guarantees and protects your rights on the job, including your wages, benefits, and working conditions. Plus it gives you and your co-workers the ability to win more.
  2. The power in collective bargaining power comes from the sheer number of union members in SEIU Local 99. We are a 35,000-worker strong union and our power is what allows us to negotiate for better wages, benefits, job protections, and improvements to the services we provide to students and families. The attacks on workers have just one purpose: to break our unity, defund our union, and silence the voice of workers like you.

What Happens if We Do Nothing?

Doing nothing to defend against these attacks is like giving a burglar the keys to your home to take whatever they want.

The things we have and need—a livable income (and the collective bargaining power to increase your income), health care benefits, sick time, our basic job rights—can all be taken from us or diminished. If we do nothing, we allow the balance of power to be tilted in favor of the employer. Our employers become emboldened to start cutting our wages, hours, benefits and more because they know we’ve done nothing to fend off this attack.

Doing something means understanding and educating your co-workers about what these attacks are trying to do to hurt us, sticking together with your co-workers as union members, and taking lead in building strength in your workplace.

“The Union” is Our Union

A labor union is a remarkably simple and proven idea with a simple proposition: an organized group of workers—with common interests—can gain a lot more for everyone than the individual going about it alone.

And the purpose of unions is also simple: to raise the standard of living of working people. Put into practice, the idea of strength gained through unity has lifted up working families and communities since the Industrial Revolution, when the very first labor unions were founded by workers.

Collective bargaining, minimum wages, health care benefits, paid vacation time, seniority, the forty-hour work week, heck…even weekends—these and many of our basic labor rights and job benefits didn’t appear out of thin air, and certainly weren’t given out of the generosity of employers.

No, they were demanded, fought for and won by workers. But not just any workers…we’re talking about workers united around a cause. That’s right—when we talk about “the union,” we’re talking about us, the workers.

We are the union. This union is ours—ours to keep and ours to defend.

“The Union” is Our Union

A labor union is a remarkably simple and proven idea with a simple proposition: an organized group of workers—with common interests—can gain a lot more for everyone than the individual going about it alone.

And the purpose of unions is also simple: to raise the standard of living of working people. Put into practice, the idea of strength gained through unity has lifted up working families and communities since the Industrial Revolution, when the very first labor unions were founded by workers.

Collective bargaining, minimum wages, health care benefits, paid vacation time, seniority, the forty-hour work week, heck…even weekends—these and many of our basic labor rights and job benefits didn’t appear out of thin air, and certainly weren’t given out of the generosity of employers.

No, they were demanded, fought for and won by workers. But not just any workers…we’re talking about workers united around a cause. That’s right—when we talk about “the union,” we’re talking about us, the workers.

We are the union. This union is ours—ours to keep and ours to defend.

“We need to stand united because the typical goal of any employer is to get the very most while giving the very least. If we aren’t united, they will try to take away everything — sick time, overtime, job protections, good pay. That’s why I’m standing with my union and signing a membership card.”

Angel Valera, LAUSD Heavy Truck Driver

“United we bargain, divided we beg. There’s truth to that. We all know there are a lot of issues we need to fix at LAUSD, but the fact is we can’t do it alone. Together, we have the power to protect what we have and keep making improvements to our jobs and our schools. That’s why I’m sticking with Local 99 and signing a union card.”

Lynneier Boyd-Clark, LAUSD Bus Driver

“With a union, I have job protection and security, seniority and a set schedule. I can plan my future. If my coworkers and I feel like something isn’t right at our job, we have a voice. We only notice things when they’re gone, like health insurance. Together we fought for it and together we’ll continue fighting to improve it and expand it to more members.”

Alicia Gutierrez, LAUSD Special Education Assistant

“I worked hard for many years at LAUSD and I’m now able to enjoy my retirement benefits. I’m still involved in our union because I think it’s important for all workers to be able to retire with dignity. We can only protect these benefits by being united.”

Robert Martinez, Retired LAUSD Special Education Assistant

HOW WE RESIST

We can act to not only resist the attacks on working people, but become a stronger and more resilient union. It starts with knowing how we’re being attacked. Secondly, it takes a commitment to stand in solidarity with your fellow education workers and all working men and women. Last, but not least, it takes leadership and organizing to continue the work of building strength and unity among education workers.

HOW WE RESIST

We can act to not only resist these attacks, but become a stronger and more resilient union. It starts with knowing how and why we’re being attacked. Secondly, it takes a commitment to stand in solidarity with your fellow education workers and all working men and women. Last, but not least, it takes leadership and organizing to continue the work of building strength and unity among education workers.

Know What Janus vs AFSCME is Really About

Resistance starts with being informed and educated. The Supreme Court’s decision on Janus vs AFSCME opens the floodgates for more attacks on working people. Know what this case is actually about, what it means for you, and to recognize the tricks anti-union groups will employ to attack us.

Stand in Solidarity

Stand in solidarity with your fellow education workers by renewing your membership with SEIU Local 99 and staying a union member. Solidarity is the one thing no one can take away from us. It’s also our best defense. By re-committing to union membership, you’re making the statement that you’ve got the backs of your fellow education workers.

Lead & Organize

We must stand up and lead, now more than ever. If you care about the well-being of your co-workers, your students, your family and your community, know that the anti-union groups behind the attacks don’t. Doing nothing, being a bystander amidst these attacks hurts you and the things you care about, and helps our enemies.

FEATURED STORIES

SEIU Local 99’s 10th Annual Family Picnic is July 21 – Registration Closed

July 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|

SEIU Local 99 has planned a fun-filled day with food, activities for all ages, a live DJ, and contests. Come and join your friends, brothers, and sisters of Local 99 for a great time! Deadline to register is Friday, July 6.

We Did It! LAUSD Board Ratifies Our Contract

June 27th, 2018|Bargaining Updates, LAUSD|

The LAUSD School Board ratified our contract on June 12. A majority of the board members clearly understand that it takes teamwork to put our kids first and voted in favor of the agreement. Only Nick Melvoin objected. While Melvoin said he recognized our hard work, his objection demonstrates that he does not understand the value we bring to students’ [...]

Help Child Care Providers Win Collective Bargaining Rights: Sign the Petition!

June 22nd, 2018|Child Care Providers|

Family child care providers are the bedrock of healthy neighborhoods across California. Sign this petition to support collective bargaining rights for providers and give them a voice to fix our state's broken child care system.

How Today’s Unions Help Working People

November 8th, 2017|Articles|

In a comprehensive new report, How Today’s Unions Help Working People, EPI researchers detail how collective bargaining plays an essential role in today’s labor market, by raising working people’s wages and supporting a fair and prosperous economy as well as a vibrant democracy—and how workers’ freedom to join together and bargain with their employer is under attack.

Load More Posts

OUR CAMPAIGNS

We believe that good jobs, quality education, and strong communities all go hand-in-hand. That’s why we lead campaigns at the bargaining table, at our worksites, and at the ballot box.

We fight to win contracts that not only improve wages and benefits for our families, but that also improve staffing and programs for the students and families we serve. As education workers and parents, our commitment to ensuring every student has access to a quality education is deeply personal.

As union members, we also stick together at the ballot box to ensure that our issues (fair pay, respect on the job, health care, etc.) are prioritized. And we hold our elected officials accountable to ensure that they expand funding for public education, pass laws that improve the livelihoods of all working people, and respect and value our contributions to student learning.

Learn More

Strengthening Parents’ Voices at Schools Bill (AB 2261)

AB 2261 will strengthen the role of parents in their schools and make Community Representatives a classified position

Learn More
Learn More

Summer Fund for Classified Employees Bill

A program that creates a 1-to-1 state-matched summer fund for classified school employees.

Learn More
Learn More

Collective Bargaining for Child Care Providers

Child care providers give peace of mind to thousands of parents by caring and educating their little ones every day, and they play a vital role in a child’s early development. Yet they remain some of the lowest paid workers in the state and do not have the right to bargain collectively. We’re fighting to change this.

Learn More
Learn More

November Election

Local 99 members have endorsed candidates for Governor, State Senator, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. These offices make important policy and budget decisions that impact our jobs and communities. That’s why we must elect representatives who are on the side of working families.

Learn More