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Friedrichs Ruling: An Important Step Forward

Photo by Kate Mereand-Sinha via Flickr.

Photo by Kate Mereand-Sinha via Flickr.

Today’s 4-4 Supreme Court decision in Friedrichs  vs. California Teachers Association is an important step forward for students, teachers, unions, and communities. The decision protects the individual and collective bargaining rights of government employees to organize and succeed.

The case centered around whether those who don’t join the union but still benefit from the wages and protections negotiated in a collectively bargained contract should pay their fair share for the cost of the negotiations. The tie decision means the lower court ruling stands—Abood vs. the Detroit Board of Education is upheld and fair share remains law, as it has for the past four decades.

Legal experts warn there are other similar cases that attack the rights of teachers and unions already in the lower courts that could make their way to the Supreme Court in the coming years. CEA legal counsel will continue to monitor these cases.

Read an analysis of today’s Supreme Court decision from SCOTUSblog here.

One Comment
  1. Jon-Paul Roden #

    As we were awaiting this decision, the possibility of a rehearing was mentioned. Under the Court’s rules, a rehearing request in the Friedrichs case would have to be filed within twenty-five days following Tuesday’s ruling. It further would require the votes of five Justices to order such a reconsideration and one of the five must have been one who had joined in the decision. I wonder how that works with an evenly divided Court? As mentioned, there will most likely be a different case brought forward to try to thwart the unions.

    March 29, 2016

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