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Friedrichs v CTA Statement

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Democratic Municipal Officials joins in celebrating today’s major win for working families.  By a 4-4 tie vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has left standing a long-settled right of public sector employees to negotiate together for good salaries, benefits, and working conditions.  By upholding nearly four decades of Constitutional precedent and sound law, the decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association benefits responsible public employers and employees alike.

DMO is proud to have educated both our members and national opinion-shapers about the issues involved in this case.  We will continue to work together with local elected officials, our partner labor organizations, employers, and public interest groups around the country in support of the interests of working families.

Under this decision, millions of firefighters, teachers, nurses, and other public sector employees will continue to have access to effective union representation working on their behalf.  The ruling turns back another concerted attack by right-wing organizations seeking to use the court system to undermine workers who stand up for their rights.  Today’s decision is also a victory for women and people of color, whose salary levels and advancement opportunities can depend on fair union representation.  Another success story are the states and communities whose economies grow thanks to the higher pay and benefit levels promoted by a strong union presence.

However, the tie vote on this key case also underscores the critical importance of filling the open seat (and any future openings) on the Supreme Court with responsible jurists who will uphold the law, not serve extremist attacks that undermine the rights of workers to organize.  The hyper-partisan Republican leadership of the U.S. Senate must cease its obstructionism against President Obama’s highly qualified nominee to the Court, and do its job to consider and act upon Merrick Garland’s nomination.

For more information on DMO’s ongoing project to help prepare elected municipal officials to understand and lead on workplace issues, economic initiatives, and the state of labor, reach out at

Dan Besse
Labor Fellow