Supreme Court ruling deals blow to working families in Janus, Justices disregard facts, and law with its ruling that strikes down 40 years of precedent

The Supreme Court of the United States today issued a 5-4 decision in a case that had been bankrolled by corporate interests who sought to weaken public-sector unions in the belief that it would make it even harder for working people to organize and speak up for each other. While the ruling is a reactionary interpretation of the First Amendment and a sweeping paradigm shift, we believe that public workers will understand the importance of maintaining union membership to strengthen their power to bargain collectively.

The case, Janus v. American Federation of County, State Municipal Employees, Council 31, overturns common sense jurisprudence that was established more than 40 years ago in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. The unanimous ruling in Abood had allowed states and localities the freedom to choose whether all public employees should pay their fair share for the employment representation they receive.

“This court decision does not change the fact that NEARI will still proudly represent our educators, education support professionals, higher education faculty and staff, and our state and municipal workers. Through the collective bargaining process, we will continue to fight for our students, our schools, our paychecks and our benefits,” said National Education Association Rhode Island Lawrence Purtill. “Our members will still provide a quality learning environment for our public-school students, continue to safeguard the health of Rhode Islanders, and continue to ensure that we have one of the best public college systems in the nation.

“Unions remain the most effective way for workers to advocate for their rights and secure a better future for themselves and their families. For those who believe this decision is a setback, we believe our members understand the power of collective action and that their continued union membership and involvement will make us stronger.”