As you know, last month, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Janus v. AFSCME that the collection of agency fees by public sector unions is an unconstitutional infringement of the First Amendment rights of nonmembers. Nonmembers now have the right to receive the same contractual benefits as members without paying anything to support the union that secures those benefits for all of us.
Within hours of the announcement of the decision, thousands of union members across the state began receiving solicitations through their school email accounts encouraging them to drop their union membership and save their dues money. These emails are coming from a variety of front groups with catchy names like "mypaymysay.com" that are sponsored by very well-funded anti-union organizations such as the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Freedom Foundation, and the National Right to Work Committee.
Another group emerged yesterday, "New Choice NY," urging union members to drop their membership. As you can see from the following link, if a teacher provides information, New Choice NY will generate a drop letter and send it to Plainedge and NYSUT: https://www.newchoiceny.com
Despite their claim to "educate public employees in NY about their rights," it's very clear from the link to their drop form at the very center of the page, that they are nothing more than an operation to
promote dropping. New Choice NY is part of the "American's for Fair Treatment" network, an Oklahoma-based dark money organization linked to the Koch brothers exclusively devoted to attacking unions.
You can expect to receive numerous such contacts in the months to come in the form of emails, letters, postcards, media ads, telephone calls and even home visits. All of these have one simple objective - to weaken our union to the point where we can no longer effectively advocate for our PFT members. They pose as your friends, but that's the last thing they are. They want to deprive you of your power and your voice.
So when you receive these contacts simply ignore them. The Supreme Court and the anti-union billionaires who funded the Janus case can't defeat us as long as we stick with the union and refuse to be fooled. There is strength in numbers. By standing together, by ensuring that everyone sticks with our union, we can protect our voice in the workplace and safeguard our benefits.
Please contact me via phone or e-mail if you have questions about any of what's going on. In solidarity!