Today’s Supreme Court 4-4 ruling in the ‘Friedrich vs California Teachers Association case protects nurses and healthcare workers who are represented by a union and who advocate for their workplace rights and the rights and safety of their patients and their communities.
We at the NFN, our member state associations, and American Federation to Teachers, have been outspoken about hospital mergers, for-profit health care, nurse staffing levels, worker health and safety, and other issues affecting the health and well-being of workers, patients and communities. The Supreme Court’s split ruling maintains our members’ ability to continue to this advocacy.
The current law requires a union to defend the rights of all of the represented workers in the workplace, regardless of their dues status, striking a reasonable balance between the need for effective unions and the protection of individuals’ views. The requirement that all employees must pay at least a “fair share” if they choose not be a full dues-paying union member works well, protecting those who do not want to support lobbying or political activity by their union, while protecting the rights of all public service workers to a voice in the democratic process.
Friedrichs v. CTA was part of planned attack to silence the voices of teachers, nurses, firefighters and public service workers and their unions all across the country. The Supreme Court should not be uses for political battles, nor used to diminish the rights of our citizens and their democratic organizations, and we will continue to challenge those who would deny our rights.