Last week in the case of Janus vs. AFSCME, the Supreme Court overturned a 40-year decision in a 5-4 decision siding with plaintiff Mark Janus stating that non-union or “fair share” members are no longer required to pay their union dues. Public unions across America will face the repercussions of this decision with both discouragement and opportunity. The opportunities return to an original model of unionism at its inception. Building relationships with those who stand up for their labor rights and ensure the fair practices within the work place.

Because Roosevelt University is a private institution, RAFO and its bargaining are not directly affected by the Supreme Court Janus decision. The fee payer structure will remain in place. However, we are committed to strengthening our bargaining unit, supporting workers’ rights and representing our members’ concerns and questions to the administration. The method of achieving these goals brings more adjunct faculty into the fold of full bargaining unit member status.

RAFO remains dedicated to a culture of listening. We want to seek and hear the ideas and suggestions from our members prior to bringing them to the administration. If you are concerned about IEA funding elections for specific candidates and campaigns, step up and serve on the Region 67 committee that makes those decisions. If you have questions about the university’s financial state in consideration of the recent bond downgrades, reach out to us and fill one of the open governance positions in Senate or College Council. If you want a voice in changing the current RAFO contract, prepare to serve on the next negotiating team. Or simply attend one of the Zoom Q&A video conferences we plan to hold monthly over the next academic year (dates and times TBA).

Strong unions begin with relationships – not political agendas. We are listening.