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Editor’s Note

More Work to Do

In this issue, we tackle the subjects of union power and “fair share” fees through the lens of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA)—a case that the Supreme Court decided just days before this magazine went to print.

Friedrichs was financed by big corporate interests who wanted public service employees to work without the protection of a strong union, something that would have made it even more difficult for educators, social workers, sanitation workers, and others to stand together and speak up for their schools, communities, and themselves.

In a 4–4 ruling, the Court reaffirmed a lower court’s decision in favor of CTA. For now, collective bargaining and fair share fees collected for bargaining on behalf of public employees are protected in 23 states. But Friedrichs was just one battle. The well-funded legal attacks on collective bargaining will continue, and we can expect similar cases to appear in the coming year.

We claim victory now knowing the fight for collective bargaining is far from over. The message is clear: We have got to work harder than ever to bring in more members and keep the Association strong. (For more on Friedrichs see “A Supreme Decision,” Page 38; read NEA President Lily Eskelsen García’s column, Page 8; and check out “Extra Credit,” Page 72.)

Elsewhere in the magazine, we look at how meager staff and resources affect students with disabilities. For more on that topic, see “Inclusion for Some, Not for All,” (Page 48).

On Page 13, meet California paraeducator Doreen McGuire-Grigg. She is one of 3 million dedicated education support professionals who help prepare students for a life of success, and we are proud that she has just been named NEA ESP of the Year.

I leave you with a reminder that National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2 – 6, and National Teacher Day is May 3. For more, visit nea.org/teacherday. Now, more than ever, let’s celebrate these everyday heroes!

Steven Grant sgrant@nea.org

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Published In

1-May-16

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