Supreme Court Victory for Public Workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2016                         

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544


A case that seemed poised to deal a death blow to public-sector unions ended in a 4-4 tie Tuesday at the Supreme Court, delivering a victory for public workers nationwide.

In a single-sentence order, the Supreme Court announced today that the judgment of a lower court rejecting the effort to defund public sector unions “is affirmed by an equally divided court.”  That means Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is dead and a four-decade-old opinion protecting public-sector unions will live to see another day.

Below is a statement from AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Eliot Seide:

“Today’s decision is a defeat for wealthy extremists who want to hijack our economy and our democracy.  It’s a victory for millions of teachers, nurses, firefighters and public service workers nationwide. 

“Minnesota’s communities never rest.  Streets need plowing.  Families need care.  Students deserve well-run schools.  Our neighborhoods demand safety and everyone deserves clean water.  That’s why public workers never quit.  We come together and we speak up for better schools, improved patient care, and safer communities.

“Wealthy extremists will continue trying to use the Supreme Court to advance their right-wing political agenda.  The best way to stop them from taking away our rights is to elect a pro-worker president whose nominees will shape the high court for decades.” 

AFSCME Council 5 is a union of 43,000 workers who advocate for excellence in services for the public, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all working families.