Statement from IEA President Kathi Griffin

The Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME, which originated in Illinois, is an attempt to take away the freedom of working people to join together to speak up for themselves in their workplace and, in our case, to speak up for their students.

From the pre-K classroom to the university lecture hall, from the bus stop to the school office – IEA members unite and fight for what’s best for the youth of this state. There is nothing that will prevent us from doing our best work on behalf of students in Illinois.

We are proud of that work and we are proud that unions have helped build the middle class of this state and this country. Yet, some of the wealthiest in this country continue to try to destroy it.

The State Policy Network fundraising letter, a parent group of the Illinois Policy Institute, outlined that the goal of its $80 million campaign is to “defund and defang” unions, as spelled out in The Guardian in August. This case is part of that fight.

The original case was launched by Gov. Bruce Rauner after he took office and launched a political attack on public employees, and was taken up by others when a federal judge ruled Rauner had no legal standing in the case. Rauner, in July, fired much of his staff and hired the staff of the Illinois Policy Institute.