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The Enemy Behind Janus and their Tactics

Important information on the Freedom Foundation and their campaign to destroy public sector unions

Kris LaGrange's picture
Apr 27, 2018

The Janus v AFSCME case is expected to be decided in June, and with just a few weeks left, groups like The Freedom Foundation are beginning to talk to union members about their ability to opt out of their union and stop paying dues. The Washington Education Association (WEA) has been dealing with this group for years and has put out some good information on them that we have included below.

Who Do You Trust?

Our Union:

  • Bargains for better pay and benefits
  • Fights for smaller class sizes
  • Defends our employment rights
  • Addresses workplace concerns
  • Ensures fair evaluations
  • Negotiates reasonable workloads and working conditions
  • Advocates for fully funded schools
  • Represents 90,000 Washington educators in every community

The Freedom Foundation:

  • Opposes higher pay for educators
  • Opposes smaller class sizes
  • Opposes local collective bargaining and other workers rights
  • Opposes fair evaluations
  • Opposes educators having a voice in education policy decisions
  • Opposes increased funding for public schools
  • Represents extremist out-of-state political groups and corporate foundations

Extremist political groups like the Freedom Foundation (aka Choice for Teachers) are attacking our right to advocate for students. They claim they’re on the side of workers, but it’s clear the Freedom Foundation doesn’t support us – and is actually fighting against what our students need to be successful. They seek to take professional respect and bargaining rights from educators and turn over control of public education to CEOs and corporate special interests.

The Freedom Foundation’s Agenda:

Weaken Public-Sector Unions in favor of corporations and wealthy CEOs

“Stop what you’re doing and make sure the focus is on unions-defunding them, marginalizing them, dismantling them, all of that,” said Tom McCabe, the CEO of the Freedom Foundation.

“…large declines in union membership experienced by states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana… are also possible in Washington… The Freedom Foundation is happy to oblige.”- Freedom Foundation Website

The Freedom Foundation is funded by wealthy corporate foundations including political groups affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers. The foundation’s agenda is clear: weaken public-sector unions and swing the balance even more in favor of corporations and wealthy CEOs.

WEA members are powerful advocates for what students need to be successful – qualified educators, small class sizes and amply funded schools. The Foundation opposes those things and claims on its website “Teachers Union Bargaining to Steal Materials from Children.”

An IRS complaint has been filed against the Freedom Foundation alleging it is an overtly partisan organization engaging in activities prohibited for nonprofit organizations.

Why This Matters for Every Student and Educator:

“There is far too much at stake! I taught in Wisconsin until 2014. I moved to Washington after Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature decimated the collective bargaining and union representation rights of educators and other public workers. Educators lost their professional autonomy and their collective voice, and students stopped getting the resources they needed.” -Teachers and Spokane Education Association member Angela Bina

Click here to download and distribute the WEA’s informational flyer on the Freedom Foundation.

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