In spite of the Supreme Court's decision, we won't stop advocating for teachers and students

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Aloha Members:

In a narrow decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today turned its back on the educators, nurses, firefighters, police officers and public servants who make our communities smart, strong and safe.

In Janus v. AFSCME, the court overturned common sense jurisprudence that was established more than 40 years ago. The majority of the Supreme Court has sided with big corporations and billionaires who are trying to weaken unions, decrease worker rights and lower pay and benefits for middle class union members.

As a 20-year classroom teacher, I know what my students need to succeed. Unions like the HSTA have always helped educators to use their collective power to advocate for smaller class sizes, safer schools and better learning environments for all students. That will not change.

So, while the court made it more difficult for us to to our jobs, we are a resourceful group. We must stay strong together as a union so we can advocate for what our teachers and students need to succeed. And we will never stop fighting for the schools our keiki deserve.

In solidarity,

Corey Rosenlee
HSTA President

P.S. For more information about today’s decision in the Janus case, read this news story and for further background on the Janus case click here.

Janus case an attack on unions

Thursday, October 05, 2017 

Aloha Colleagues:

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that they will hear Janus v. AFSCME. This case is trying over turn a 40-year-old precedent (Abood v. Detroit) in which the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that unions can collect fair share fees for representing workers in collective bargaining, contract enforcement and other matters relating to wages and work conditions. The reason for fair share fees is to prevent “free riders” or those who benefit from the work of unions in collective bargaining, but don’t pay their fair share.

This new case is not just an attack on unions, but is sponsored by the same groups who wish to privatize schools and make public education a for-profit business. Unions are some of the strongest forces in our country fighting for workers’ rights, income inequality and quality schools for all children regardless of their zip code.

The educators in HSTA are an ohana. We take care of each other and our keiki. In Hawaii you don’t go to a potluck, eat all the food but don’t bring a dish to share.

For information about the Janus case, read these news articles:

Here is some basic background on the Janus Supreme Court case from the New York Times.

Right-wing groups behind the Janus Supreme Court case admit they’re spending tens of millions to “defund and defang” unions.

Janus is really about further rigging our economy against working people in favor of the wealthy and powerful.

NEA sees this case as an attack on middle class working folks.

In the past year, you have experienced the power of collective action as teachers stood united to secure a new HSTA contract with raises, more money for health coverage and other improvements. The HSTA works hard to fight for our members, their families and the keiki we teach across the state of Hawaii. We remain committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with parents and the community to improve Hawaii’s public schools.

The HSTA joins the National Education Association and other unions across the country in fighting back against the legal attacks on teachers and other hard working folks.

Regardless of attacks on unions, we will continue to fight hard for what is right. We need your help to fight back in the months ahead. Join us as we continue to advocate for increased school funding, improving special education and reducing onerous standardized testing.

We must stand together to ensure that America has an economy that works for everyone. Thank you for the work you do every day for all of our keiki and for supporting this effort!


Corey Rosenlee

HSTA President