Editorial

AFSCME gets Supreme Court snicker

Lawyer quip on public sector employees being underpaid generates laugh

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in Janus v. AFSCME, a case that if successful would virtually mean right-to-work status for all public sector workers across the nation. At the hearing the AFSCME union’s attorney made a comment that elicited laughter from the court room.

Chief Justice John Roberts asked if public sector unions are involved in advocacy when it comes to wages and a state budget.

“I wouldn't put it quite that way,” AFSCME attorney David Frederick said. “What I would say is that of course most public servants are underpaid, and I will stipulate to that before this body.”

The people in the chamber laughed.

Richard Trumka, the president of the national AFSCME, had his total compensation in 2017 increase to $315,368, a 7 percent raise from 2016.