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.
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
A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court clarifies that mandatory reporting laws exist to protect abused, neglected children and get them the support they deserve. The case of Ohio v. Clark, raised the question of whether a child’s statement to his teacher about being a victim of abuse is inadmissible in a criminal prosecution against his abuser because teachers and other educators should be considered law enforcement officials when they carry out their duty to report suspected abuse or neglect.
The National Education Association filed an amicus brief in the case supporting the view that educators’ valuable role as mandatory reporters and caregivers should not be compromised. In a unanimous decision, the Court agreed and ruled against putting educators in a law enforcement role. Read more