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For Immediate Release
June 27, 2018

Kowal: Janus decision will make labor stronger

UUP President Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., said he was deeply disappointed but not surprised by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision for Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

Kowal, president of the 42,000-member union that represents academic and professional faculty at the State University of New York, said UUP is ready and able to sustain the impact of the ruling, which would let workers with union representation take union-negotiated benefits and protections without paying for them.

“While we hoped against hope that the conservative-led court would see through this sham of a suit and rule for working families, we all but expected that the decision would come down as it did,” said Kowal. “UUP has prepared for this outcome. We are a strong, proud organization that will continue to defend and represent our members, now and in the future.”

In Janus, Mark Janus, an Illinois public worker and an AFSCME Council 31 bargaining unit member, claimed that by paying fair share fees, anti-union workers are compelled to support union activities, a violation of his First Amendment rights.

“If the super-rich and the corporate elites that are behind this case, and so many others like it, think that this ruling is the end of unions, they are sadly mistaken,” said Kowal. “This was a blow to working families. But we are stronger than those who are trying to blot out unions know. We aren’t going anywhere.”

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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