One year ago, I sat in PSEA’s board room with a group of staff continuing our preparations for what PSEA would do in the event our fair share law was rendered unconstitutional.
Perhaps, not ironically, it was during that meeting when we learned that the U.S. Supreme Court handed down their landmark decision in Janus v. AFSCME. They ruled against unions like ours in a lawsuit that our opponents had filed with the express purpose of weakening us.
The goal of the Janus case was to encourage union members to race for the exits and leave associations like ours. For PSEA, that didn’t happen. Our membership remains stable, and we continue to provide the benefits, services, protections, and advocacy that members like you have relied upon for decades.
I’m very proud of the work of our Association.
Whether we’re fighting for good salaries, benefits, and working conditions at the bargaining table, pushing for educator evaluation reforms in the state Legislature, or providing quality professional development opportunities, it’s clear that PSEA members value what PSEA offers them.
We take that very seriously. And we don’t take it for granted.
In fact, we’re constantly working to make the services PSEA offers even better so that we meet the needs of all members.
For the past few years, I know that we’ve spent a lot of time talking about attacks on our Association. And I’m sure that there will be more Janus-like fights undertaken by well-funded, anti-union special interests.
But the fact that PSEA remains strong is something to celebrate.
It’s also important to remember that people in your communities’ respect and support the work you do. As you’ve seen in this edition of Voice, fully 71 percent of Pennsylvanians have a positive impression of educators.
That’s impressive. In fact, those are the strongest numbers we’ve seen in more than a decade.
It’s because of the work you do every day and how well you do it.
I love to reflect on stories about your successes, creativity, innovation, and dedication to your students. That’s why I always enjoy reading this magazine. It’s full of them.
Reading them reminds me why I’m so proud to work for you, and why PSEA continues to be so strong – even in the face of challenges like Janus.
Of course, PSEA is its members.
It’s you and every educator and support professional like you who dedicates his or her life to teaching kids, supporting them, counseling them, and making sure their schools are safe havens for learning.
PSEA exists to help you to do that important work – and we’re not going anywhere.
So, thank you for continuing to belong. And thank you for everything you do.
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