Washington, D.C- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chair of the Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, issued a statement following the United States Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn:
This morning’s Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn maintains public sector employees’ contribution of fair share dues to support collective bargaining activities.
I am pleased that while a majority of the Court carved an exemption for specific workers, it denied the attempts of right-wing activists to overturn precedent and the laws of 26 states, which could have hurt the ability of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public sector workers to collectively stand up for their rights and for fair wages.
That being said, it is hard to comprehend the majority opinion when Illinois home care workers have clearly benefited from collective bargaining as Justice Kagan’s dissent makes clear: “Because of that bargaining, as the majority acknowledges, home-care assistants have nearly doubled their wages in less than 10 years, obtained state-funded health insurance, and benefited from better training and workplace safety measures.” The State has also benefited by getting “a more stable workforce providing higher quality care, thereby avoiding the costs involved with institutionalization.”
As wages of many workers are stagnant and their interests are overlooked, any attempt to weaken their ability to bargain collectively for family wages and safer working conditions is troubling.