This June, a US Supreme Court ruling may change the laws governing union membership. While it isn’t expected to have much of an impact in Oregon, we do want you to know what it means.
Under the ruling, Janus vs. AFSCME, the Court may rule that unions must continue to represent people even if they stop paying fair share or union dues.
In Oregon, unions are stronger than ever as more and more people are coming together. Union membership brings higher salaries, improved workplace standards and better healthcare plans for all employees because the union has the power to negotiate from a position of strength.
Our members tell us that SEIU is important because the union is there when they need us, such as when they are falsely accused or wrongly terminated.
We believe that in the wake of this decision, our union will continue to be strong, because we know that union members like you will join together and say that no court can decide how strong our union is—only we can decide that.
Our union has evolved, and will continue to do so.
Our union has a rich history that includes many internal and external challenges—and it’s worth noting that we operated in an open-shop environment for many years prior to this court case. We have continually risen to meet every challenge, and under the leadership of our General Council and our Board, we’re confident that we will continue to innovate, evolve, and win for working families.
Being a union member is, now as it always has been, a powerful choice. It’s a choice to stand up for the respect we deserve, and the jobs our communities need. It’s a choice that we will continue to support workers in making—and that no court can take away. Let’s stick together, and continue to fight for the respect and good jobs that Oregon needs.
After the last U.S. Supreme Court ruling, we got stronger.
We expect that, over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing from groups that want to divide working people, and undermine the power that we’ve built together in our union. Special interests that want to cut government and privatize public services—groups like the Freedom Foundation—will tell you that you “lose nothing” by dropping your union membership.
The corporate interests who brought this suit to the U.S. Supreme Court believe that it will weaken unions. But we know that’s not true.
When the US Supreme Court struck down fair share fees for homecare workers in 2014 through their decision in Harris vs Quinn, and when the Freedom Foundation moved to Oregon shortly thereafter to try and undermine our membership, it felt bleak to many of us. Yet homecare workers took their union into their own hands, increased their membership, and won one of the strongest contracts in the nation in 2015.
For more background on the case: