Members Front and Center as Justices Hear Case


Members and staff from SEA/SEIU Local 1984 were outside the Supreme Court this week as justices heard oral arguments in a case that could impose Right to Work across the nation. Holding the banner, from left, are SEA/SEIU Local 1984 President Rich Gulla, Field Activities Coordinator Joe Cicirelli, Second Vice President Tammy Clark and Director John Hattan. Not shown (face obscured behind a sign) was member Jonathan Hallet.

All accounts of the oral arguments presented at the US Supreme Court in the Friedrichs v. California Teacher’s Association earlier this week paint a bleak picture for public sector unions across the nation.

The Supreme Court is split between the conservative justices and liberal justices. The remaining justices who generally provide the “swing” votes seemed to be in the conservative camp, which means that the decision on the case is precarious, at best, for unions.

One glimmer of hope for SEA/SEIU Local 1984 and other public sector locals across the nation is that this case would reverse the Abood v. Detroit Board of Education decision offered by the Supreme Court nearly 40 years ago.  The justices do not like to reverse their own decisions and rarely do so.

A decision will be announced anytime between the beginning of March and the end of June.

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members were in Washington, D.C. standing in front of the Supreme Court Building peacefully demonstrating in opposition to the case. Those who attended were President Rich Gull, John Hattan, Tammy Clark, Jonathan Hallet, and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 staff member, Joe Cicirelli.

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