Fair Share is Fair
Fair share is fair.
That was the finding of an equally divided U.S. Supreme Court, which today issued a one-sentence decision that upheld nearly 40 years of legal precedent and the right of public sector workers to collectively bargain.
No worker can be forced to join a union even though the benefits of a union contract extend to all the workers in the bargaining unit. Those workers who do not want to be full members pay a fair share fee. This ensures that such covered employees who receive all of the benefits of union membership pay some of the costs. Fair share covers the administrative costs of bargaining and administering the contract. Fair share fees do not include costs of political activities. In the Friedrichs case decided today, a small group of California teachers objected to paying their fair share and the court has rejected their challenge.
“Fair share is about basic fairness,” said Zach Schiller research director with Policy Matters Ohio. “This decision buoys the rights of working people and promotes stability in the public-workplace.”
Hannah Halbert, workforce researcher with Policy Matters Ohio, added that “Ohio voters overwhelmingly defeated Senate Bill 5, legislation that would have stripped many public sector workers of their right to collectively bargain. Working people need more opportunities to have their voice heard on the job, not less.”
Today’s 4-4 decision upholds the finding of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and it sets no new collective bargaining restrictions for the rest of the country.