Supreme Court deadlocked on Friedrichs; Public employee unions, services saved…for now

Posted Mar. 28, 2016 by

A Message from OCSEA Pres. Chris Mabe

OCSEA and public sector unions across the country have been closely following the case before the national court that aims to undermine public employees’ rights to collectively bargain. The case, Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association, is a high-funded, anti-labor case aimed directly at attacking public employees and their ability to speak up together for wages and benefits that sustain their families and set standards for every American.

But in the 4-4 split decision the U.S. Supreme Court has kept intact four decades of precedent that allowed collective bargaining rights for public employees. The tie will allow the ruling rendered from the lower court to stand. In that Ninth District ruling, the union won.

This decision sends a strong message that millions of public sector union members will not be deterred and will band together to speak up for better wages and working conditions.

It also sends a message to wealthy special interests that the law, the Constitution and the facts are on the side of public employees who simply want to serve their states, schools and local governments with pride.

We don’t believe cases like these, that are political agendas, brought by billionaires like the Koch brothers, should even be put before the Supreme Court at all.

But we also know that there are many more Friedrichs-like cases out there, with one goal in mind: to undermine public sector unions; to lower our pay; to deprive us of health care and other benefits; to lower our standard of living...and, basically, to keep workers silent.

But we won’t back down!

Today’s ruling helped us keep the dream alive of sustainable families and communities, of higher wages and better benefits.

But that doesn’t mean the wolf is not still at the door.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that the U.S. Senate, and specifically Ohio’s U.S. Senator Rob Portman, take up and consider the nomination of a Supreme Court justice now that is fair and not an enemy to working people.

If the Friedrichs case has taught us anything, we need to be vigilant and that together: We’ll NEVER Quit!

See More - AFSCME: Victory for Working Families Press Release