Caulkins commends JANUS case as Chicago Public School employees stop paying union dues
Dan Caulkins considers more than 300 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system employees' decision to stop paying union dues in the wake of the recent Janus Supreme Court ruling a classic illustration of how democracy should work.
“That was the purpose of the decision,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “People now have the freedom to decide for themselves if they want to be a part of the union without the fear of having their job affected if they chose not to be involved. I think it will be good for both parties over the long haul."
In June, the Supreme Court determined in a 5-4 decision that Illinois child support specialist Mark Janus did not have to pay union dues after he argued that American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) violated his First Amendment rights by engaging in political speech with which he did not agree.
Since then, hundreds of CPS staffers have elected not to continue paying dues of roughly $1,000 annually for whatever reason, according to WBEZ.
Over the last decade, Illinois Policy reports that two of the actions that have most alienated CPS union members include a pair of school strikes that led to the closure of scores of schools and the layoffs of thousands of CPS employees.
“The beauty of this development is it sends the message to union employees that they don’t have to just go along,” said Caulkins, challenging Democrat Jennifer McMillin in the 101st House District. “At the same time, it lets union leaders know that if they want to continue to retain members they need to represent the will of their membership and offer them value and not just continue taking them for granted."
The 101st House District spans parts of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.