NEWS RELEASE
Law Attacking Public Workers is Suspended

From the Missouri National Education Association
1810 E. Elm St., Jefferson City, MO 65101

For further information: 
Erin Schrimpf
c: (816) 863-3970

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2019

A preliminary injunction was granted to suspend implementation
of the anti-labor law H.B. 1413.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI - Today, a St. Louis Circuit County judge ruled in favor of public sector workers by granting a preliminary injunction halting H.B. 1413 from taking effect. The implementation of the law, which seeks to undermine public-sector collective bargaining, will now be stayed until a final judgment is entered on the lawsuit.

In August, seven public-sector unions representing a broad range of public workers filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of H.B. 1413. The bill was part of a slew of unpopular, anti-labor legislation signed into law in the last minutes of session by then-governor Eric Greitens.

Today’s decision represents a pivotal legal win. The judge affirmed that collective bargaining is a fundamental right under the state constitution. As a result, he concluded that H.B. 1413’s many infringements on the ability of public-sector workers to choose a union representative and have a voice in the workplace were unconstitutional. Judge Walsh stated, “In sum, a system like H.B. 1413 – in which very few conditions of employment are subject to meaningful bargaining, and the few conditions over which the parties can negotiate may be unilaterally abrogated by management – does not even give an illusion of collective bargaining.”

Missouri ranks last in the country in state employee pay and public teacher pay is second to last. Already strained and underpaid, public workers have been under distress since the state legislature passed the bill.

“This is another misguided effort from an out-of-touch legislature that is hurting working people by attacking our right to bargain for better wages, safe work environments, and better learning conditions for our students,” said Lori Sammelmann, an Instructional Support Leader in the Ferguson-Florissant School District, “They want to make it harder to do our job, and they are picking fights to divert the attention away from teaching, education, and public services and eventually our students and taxpayers will suffer because of it.”

Missouri is one of only 4 states that expressly protects the right of collective bargaining in its state constitution. Today’s decision suspends implementation of H.B. 1413. This means state, local, municipal jurisdictions, school districts, and other agencies that are responsible for implementing H.B. 1413 will be legally prohibited from doing so for as long as the law remains suspended by the preliminary injunction. The law will be stayed until a final decision is entered on the lawsuit.

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The 32,500-member MNEA represents teachers, education support professionals, college faculty, retired teachers and students studying to be teachers in school districts and on college campuses throughout the state. It is the Missouri affiliate of the 3-million-member NEA.  

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Posted Date: 3/8/2019
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