I couldn’t disagree more with Wednesday's Quad-City Times editorial about the Janus v. AFSCME case in the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, the case was filed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who said, “it has nothing to do with the budget, nothing to do with reform — it’s about power.” That means all the power for him and the other billionaires bankrolling the case, and no say-so for working people.
I work in the Moline Community School District, where AFSCME represents mechanics like me along with custodians, carpenters, electricians, maintenance workers and more. Of course, teachers and other school employees are union members, too. Through our unions we have the freedom to speak up together for wages that can support a family, health insurance we can afford, and a modest pension when we retire — something that’s especially important since teachers aren’t eligible for Social Security.
By setting a livable standard for wages and benefits, our union contract doesn’t just help us and our families, but it lifts up our whole community. Every public school parent benefits when their kids are taught, fed and looked after by professionals who see public service as a career, not just a job. Through our union, we have the freedom to speak up for the kids and their families that we serve every day.
Gov. Rauner and the other billionaires behind this case don’t care about any of that. They’re trying to use the courts to further rig the system against working people like us, and gain more power and wealth for themselves.
Editor’s note: Boone is employed by the Moline Community School District