Victory Lap for Labor Unions

Lead Contributor: Lloyd Klinedinst

It’s a good day for labor unions and those who belong to them. Today in a five to two decision, the Missouri Supreme Court held that House Bill 1413 (HB 1413), enacted by the Missouri Legislature back in 2018, is unconstitutional. 

The ruling affirms teachers and other public-sector employees’ constitutional right to engage in collective bargaining and maintain union membership free of politically motivated interference.   

We’re all stronger when we work together, and this holds true for the labor union sector. A total of seven different unions collectively filed a lawsuit to prevent HB 1413 from kicking in, saying it violated the Missouri constitution and severely penalized labor unions and their ability to operate. After a tug of war fought out in the courtroom, at the end of the day the Missouri Supreme Court sided with the union coalition. 

The unions aren’t the real winners in this case–their members are. Because of the Supreme Court’s decision, teachers, nurses, bus drivers, teamsters, and others now have the right to use payroll deduction for payment of union dues, association dues, or voluntary contributions to union-related PACS, such as the Missouri NEA PAC.

In a press release, the MNEA shared several reactions from teachers including one from Kathy Steinhoff from Columbia: “HB 1413’s only goal is to make it more difficult for educators to stand up for students and advocate for our colleagues. The court recognized it as the politically motivated attack it was and acted to protect our constitutional rights.”

Like the MNEA, the Missouri State Teachers Association was pleased with the high court decision. In its press release, MSTA emphasized a victory for free speech and association, and the end of onerous paperwork requirements. 

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