Lacy Barnes, CA

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Lacy Barnes_AWTI’ve dedicated my life to education, and I’ve seen first-hand how important it is for teachers – and other public service workers – to be able to come together to negotiate at work.

I’ve been a college instructor since 1992, but my involvement in education doesn’t end at the classroom doors: I am also very involved in my union. As president of the State Center Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1533, I am responsible for representing my fellow faculty members at Reedley College and Fresno City Colleges in the Central Valley. I am also serving as Senior Vice President of CFT.

I believe strongly that our unions help us succeed in the workplace. Our ability to negotiate together has guaranteed better benefits and wages for my colleagues and me while improving educational outcomes for our students.

For the past several months, I’ve been closely following the Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. CTA. As a California resident myself, I am especially concerned about this attack on the rights of working people. I know this case is being funded by the Koch brothers and other right-wing groups bent on attacking protections for the middle class, but I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will see through their manufactured assault on our rights.

This case means a lot to me as both an educator and a union member, because I want working people everywhere to have the same opportunity I’ve enjoyed to improve their communities through fulfilling, rewarding public service jobs.