SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Case Challenging Compulsory Union Dues

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Jul 01, 2015 10:00 AM
SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Case Challenging Compulsory Union Dues

Teachers should not have to pay mandatory union dues that support political agendas they don’t agree with, argues California educator Rebecca Friedrichs, the lead plaintiff in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The frustrated teacher is suing the California Teachers Association for forcing her to give $1,000 a year to a teachers union she says is using that money to forward liberal causes that do not represent her. Now, her complaint has reached the Supreme Court of the United States. The high court just granted her petition. 

Friedrichs spoke with Townhall a couple of years ago about her grievance with union dues, explaining that teachers unions often use this money to fund such politically charged items such as Common Core and Obamacare. Her specific union, she shared, was working especially hard against a program she actually supported, the voucher system.

“And I think the unions are against vouchers because, they wouldn’t be able to control so many teachers being in the union, you know if there was more freedom in education. I think it’s a way they are protecting their own organization. They’re not protecting teachers and students – they’re protecting themselves. It’s coming out in a negative way. I would love to have more choice in the schools that I could work at too. I don’t have a choice. We don’t have very many charter schools around here and we don’t have a voucher system in California.”

More egregiously than being forced to indirectly support political causes, educators who pay mandatory union dues may also be fronting money to tenured teachers who have disgraceful pasts.

“I’m sure you’ve heard about all the teachers who are child molesters and other horrific things. The unions come by and support them, well that’s because of tenure and that’s a collective bargaining issue. So I feel like that’s political. At this point we can’t get out of paying them, so I cannot avoid supporting that pedophile teacher with my dues.

Why not just opt out of paying the dues? Because the process is discouragingly burdensome.

Read more about the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association here. The case will be briefed and argued in the fall, with a guaranteed decision by June 30, 2016.