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.
Teachers gathered together in Bolton Tuesday night heard CEA Policy Director Donald Williams explain the potential ramifications of Friedrichs.
Calling public education “the last frontier and bastion of the American dream,” CEA President Sheila Cohen last night spoke with members gathered together in Bolton at the first of a series of County Forums CEA is holding in January and February. The forums’ focus is the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association lawsuit that the Supreme Court heard last week and its potential to impact teachers both individually and collectively.
Cohen said that the real purpose of reformers behind the Friedrichs case “is not to save the children, but to obliterate the middle class, minimize the role of teachers and parents, break unions, and privatize public education.”
Teachers at the forum last night asked many questions about Friedrichs and heard from CEA Director of Policy, Research, and Reform Donald Williams and CEA Legal Counsel Melanie Kolek about the potential ramifications of a Supreme Court decision in favor of the plaintiffs. They explained that the Friedrichs case is an assault on organized labor by forces that want to destroy unions, attacking teachers’ rights to organize and succeed.
If you haven’t already registered to attend a forum in your area click here for a flier with more information, and contact your local president or county director (contact information on page 2 of the flier) to register.
Dates and locations for upcoming forums are as follows. Read more
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case today. The case is an attack on long-standing rules that have made it possible for professionals to stand together with one voice at work and in their communities.
CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “The Friedrichs case is about corporate interests that want to undermine employee protections by attacking teachers, nurses, firefighters, and all organized labor—limiting our individual rights and our collective right to organize and succeed.”
Cohen continued, “Strong collective bargaining relationships support high-quality public schools, services, and teaching professionals, who should have a say about their futures and the right to negotiate together for better wages and benefits that sustain their families. Everyone should care about Friedrichs because a robust American labor movement is essential to our nation’s democracy and economy.”
Click here to read Cohen’s entire statement. Read more