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Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Column Extra: Read the SCOTUS arguments over payments to unions

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 - 9:14 am
Last Modified: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 - 9:32 am

This week’s State Worker column takes a look at Harris v. Quinn, a U.S. Supreme Court case with implications for government employees nationwide.

The heart of the debate: Can the law compel payment to government-employee unions for collective bargaining and other non-political services that benefit all represented employees? Or does everything that those unions do, including contract deals, fall into a zone of “public concern” that shouldn’t be supported by compulsory payments from employees?

Our column quotes from Tuesday’s oral arguments in Washington, D.C. Several readers have asked us to post the transcript, so we’ve embedded it below. For users who can’t view the embed, click here to download the document.

SCOTUS transcript 140121

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, much of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes, the documents and the observations that inform what's published.

Read more articles by Jon Ortiz

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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Note: The State Worker blog switched blog platforms in October 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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