NEWS | Teachers Unions Scramble to Save Themselves After Supreme Court’s Blow

The team of teachers pulled up to the school custodian’s house on a steamy summer day hoping to close the deal. They had been there twice with no luck, and Marsel Kovaci was proving to be a hard sell.

He was a union agency fee-payer, meaning he had declined to join the union but was still obligated to pay union fees — obligated, that is, until the Supreme Court declared otherwise last month. With a salary half that of a teacher, the janitor suddenly had a decision to make. So Mary Kruchinski, a representative of the New York State United Teachers, wasted no time.

“What’s the best thing about your job?” she asked.

“The kids,” he said. “I try to keep things nice for them.”

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