SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a 5-4 decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case that was bankrolled by corporate interest groups that wanted to rig the economic system further in their favor and make it even harder for working people to stand united. The Janus decision is not just an attack on public unions, it’s an attack on public education.  Seven out of ten teachers are in a union nationwide. This case is a direct attempt to limit the collective voice of educators who advocate for students across the country. Illinois Education Association (IEA) President Kathi Griffin released a video on Facebook to our 135,000 members. The following is a statement from Griffin:

“We are disappointed, but not surprised, by today’s Supreme Court decision that does not allow unions like ours to collect fees from non-members who benefit from the union’s work.

“Let’s be clear, the goal of the people who supported this legal case, including Governor Rauner, is trying to silence IEA, NEA, local associations and other public employee unions. They want to stop us from using our collective voice to advocate for our students, for ourselves and for public education.

“They will fail.

“It has never been more vital that those of us who believe in fair contracts use our collective voice to make sure that all students have access to a high-quality public education.  We will continue to spread the truth about the importance of union membership to all of our brothers and sisters working in schools.

“This fight is just beginning.  We won’t let them stop us. We will use their attacks to build a stronger IEA and we will move forward together because we know we are stronger united.”

IEA members and educators are available for interviews. To schedule, please reach out to IEA Media Relations Director Bridget Shanahan at 708-341-4361 or Bridget.Shanahan@ieanea.org.

The full video is available for download on IEA’s Vimeo page.


The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.