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Wyoming Educators May See Decrease In Grants Following Janus v. AFSCME

Wyoming Education Association

Many teacher’s unions across the country are reeling from the Supreme Court’s ruling on Janus v. AFSCME; the case deciding whether non-union members have to pay fees to unions to cover contract negotiations.

But in Wyoming, the ruling will not have as direct an impact on teachers as other states. Kathy Vetter, the Wyoming Education Association (WEA) President, said that's because the WEA is not considered a union. But it is a state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), which is a union. Vetter said the WEA has benefited from grants awarded by the NEA and those could decrease.

“WEA has received a number of grants from NEA, both standard grants and grants that are competitive,” said Vetter. “Those will decrease. So we will more than likely get less grants from NEA.”

Vetter is also worried the ruling could have consequences for basic rights workers have grown accustomed to.

“So that we no longer have union contracts that guarantee overtime, weekends, maternity leave. All of those things are union values brought to the workers of the United States by our unions.”

The Supreme Court ruled that unions extracting fees from non-member employees was a violation of the First Amendment.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.

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