ALBANY, N.Y. June 30, 2014 — New York State United Teachers President Karen E. Magee today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn tilts the playing field to make it harder for home health care workers to organize and maintain unions — in a service area where there is a burning need for the living wages and the quality standards of care for which unions stand.
“Strong unions in New York state and across the nation are responsible for the growth of the middle class. Where unions exist, pay and benefits for all workers go up.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is another attack on the middle class. It will make it harder to ensure that every worker enjoys fair wages, decent benefits and retirement security. NYSUT members know that a strong union gives them a meaningful voice in the workplace and the ability to stand up for quality public schools, colleges and universities and health care institutions that benefit all New Yorkers.
“In New York, fair share arrangements, which Justice Alito’s opinion left intact, have served for decades as a common-sense solution that ensures that every worker who enjoys the benefits and protections of a labor contract contributes something toward maintaining it.
“However, the court’s ruling leaves little doubt that war is being waged against the middle class. Front groups funded by the wealthy elite are spending millions to strip away any power or voice that workers have on the job. The competitive pay, good benefits, protection against unjust firings and retirement security that workers receive come because they have organized.
“Unions will always be the best way to ensure that every family can enjoy good schools, quality public services and economic prosperity.”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.
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