Lawsuit over mandatory teachers union dues moving ahead

posted at 11:01 am on January 12, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Today’s story is unusual not just for the subject under discussion, but also for where it’s taking place. Out in California, a group of teachers have a case currently winding through the courts which protests the requirement for teachers to join a union and pay dues as a condition of employment. And this is the sort of thing that keeps union officials up at night.

A federal lawsuit filed by a group of California public school teachers saying mandatory payment of union dues violates their right of free speech is moving forward in the courts..

In essence, in California and 25 other “closed shop” states, the teachers by law must join a union as a condition of employment and pay union dues to keep their jobs.

Union reps say those fees help their efforts to improve workplace safety, for instance, and get better contracts for all employees. They add that teachers can opt-out of paying dues that fund political activities.

That defense from the unions will probably sound familiar to those of you who regularly follow union activity. Whatever it is that they want you to do – no matter how outrageous it may seem – is the default position. And if it seems to be clearly illegal, if not unconstitutional, they point to some obscure clause where the employee can sign a bunch of forms, provide video testimony and donate a pint of blood to “opt out” of their program. Of course, once you do go public and opt out, you mysteriously wind up at the bottom of the list for overtime, promotions, or anything else you might want… assuming you hang on to your job.

This case will be fascinating to watch, particularly on the heels of other court actions taking place in Wisconsin and New Jersey. This one heads next to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and from there almost certainly to the Supreme Court. If the teachers carry the day, it could spell the dawn of a whole new era for workers in “closed shop” states where these types of rules which strongly resemble extortion are currently the law of the land.


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unions OUR my cup of tea ????
wow.

dmacleo on January 12, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Union reps say those fees help their efforts to improve workplace safety

BWHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!

I thought OSHA was on the job since 1973?

Lanceman on January 12, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Work place safety? For teachers? Does that include protecting them, and the children they teach, from deranged gunmen? If so, they are doing a piss poor job.

As a side note, that picture is hilarious. I snorted.

JAGonzo on January 12, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Are, babe.

vityas on January 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I pray that woman isn’t a teacher.

JAGonzo on January 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Work place safety? For teachers?

JAGonzo on January 12, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Paper cuts. Writer’s cramp. And the ever popular carpal tunnel syndrome.

Lanceman on January 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Math is hard but grammer is worser!

vityas on January 12, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Pie our squared.

Lanceman on January 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

The woman in the photo might have been bused in by the union and paid to protest. There’s a good chance the sign was created by some semi-illiterate union thug.

Philly on January 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM

The unions have had their day. They brought a lot of problems and exploitation to light, and have gotten protections successfully coded into the law.

Having accomplished their mission, everything today is purely power and money. Nothing more; nothing less.

ss396 on January 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

unions OUR my cup of tea ????
wow.

dmacleo on January 12, 2014 at 11:04 AM

.
Edumacation furst!

ExpressoBold on January 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

where these types of rules which strongly resemble extortion

Understatement. It is extortion, plain and simple.

iurockhead on January 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM

“semi-illiterate union thug.

Philly on January 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM”

Is there any other kind?

mad scientist on January 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

There’s a good chance the sign was created by some semi-illiterate union thug.

Philly on January 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Exactly. A publik skool teecher.

oceansidecon on January 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

This case will be fascinating to watch, particularly on the heels of other court actions taking place in Wisconsin and New Jersey.

And how long will this take. Is this “watch” as in slow motion special effects that will not end in my lifetime?

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM

The courts attitude: “We can force you to buy healthcare.” Why should they view this as any different? Just call it a tax and it’s acceptable to them.

LaughterJones on January 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Spelling be old skool. We be new skool teachers.

Wethal on January 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

“semi-illiterate union thug.

Philly on January 12, 2014 at 11:19 AM”

Is there any other kind?

mad scientist on January 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Heh.

Colonel Jessup: “Something something union thug.”
Daniel Kaffee: “Semi-literate union thug?”
Colonel Jessup: “Is there another kind?”

Lanceman on January 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM

“Union Our my cup of tea!”…..

Yeah I have no idea why the United States is losing ground to the world academics wise ma’am.

Thank a teacher.

harlekwin15 on January 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Ironic that in the wealthiest Wetchester, NY communities, their school buses have signs on them saying that their school districts are “Proudly Union Free”

Ben Hur on January 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

This ,again, highlights the problem with the government run school systems AND unions being allowed in those systems. If we are to be forced to live with the former there is no way we should have unions in public schools. Politician supports more money for schools and teachers and unions support politicians with said money. Pretty good scam if you can be a part of it.

At the absolute very least in this screwed up country teachers should not be forced to pay dues.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

I’d hate to think that woman is a teacher. Ugh.

Philly on January 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM

In NYC schools the UFT is allowed to charge agency fee for any member who does not want to join. This is true of all districts in the state. The curious thing is what constitutes agency fee. It is supposed to be commensurate with what the union spends on representation, contract negotiations, pension consultations, administering benefits the contract allows the union to provide. (In NYC PEUs receive an amount for each worker and the union decides what added benefit will be provided. The UFT for instance uses their monies for drug, dental and eyeglass benefits while other unions choose other avenues). Agency fee for a teacher in NYC is about 92% of dues. In a Long Island district I worked in it was 50%.I found it easier to join the UFT because it gave me standing dealing with the administration of the building. That’s where 80% of any teacher’s dealings with the union occur. In NYC we have dues checkoff where the dues are payroll deducted. Any unlawful, like striking, activity in NY State results in suspension of dues checkoff. Then chapter leaders have to personally ask for the dues. The last time that happened with the UFT 40 years ago dues revenues dropped precipitously. It’s why there hasn’t been a UFT strike in 40 years even though Bloomberg tried several times to force one. PEUs like their income stream uninterrupted.

xkaydet65 on January 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM

I have been teaching for 20 years in Georgia and have never joined either of the two teacher unions in this state. As a result I have kept over $4000 for myself instead of the money going to an organization that I totally detest.

dawgyear on January 12, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Such cases in our State have had disastrous results for the public and free speech in our State. Every member of the court house with the exception of the judges, I mean every single position, is held by a union member. That pretty much ends judicial independence.

pat on January 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

pat on January 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

.
What state?

ExpressoBold on January 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Public sector unions are never satisfied… They never say, “Thank you taxpayers, we’re good with our high pay, great insurance and accumulated sick days.”

Grrr…

Fallon on January 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Gasp! This could be the end of UNION MANAGEMENT! And then where would the Democrats go for campaign money?

GarandFan on January 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Meanwhile, Fox hosts regularly mock and ridicule people on food stamps, many of whom are children, as lazy leaches.
 
libfreeordie on December 31, 2013 at 11:37 AM

rogerb on January 12, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Hawaii

pat on January 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Select the best answer:

Unions, a) our cup of tea b) my cup of tea

See, it was a multiple choice quiz.

Pazman on January 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

With all those people standing around, you think someone would have told the lady that her sign is not quite right. But then again, someone probably did and she said, “huh!, what’s wrong with it, looks okay to me.”

Alabama Infidel on January 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

My body, my choice… right, teachers’ union?

Look for the union label — so you can avoid it.

Dion on January 12, 2014 at 12:51 PM

With all those people standing around, you think someone would have told the lady that her sign is not quite right. …

Alabama Infidel on January 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

.
They are probably not any better educated than she is.

ExpressoBold on January 12, 2014 at 12:51 PM

They will win. The Hudson case clearly established unions have no right to coerce money from employees to fund political activity.

In federal court, our union provided financial info that showed 80% of “dues” go to political campaigns, and 99% of that was to Democrats. So the court lopped off 80% of our “dues” and we were happy. The process to do that for others, of course, was daunting.

So keep fighting. You will win.

PattyJ on January 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I am a Californian. The teachers unions run this state.
– Unions fund campaigns for politicians in return for the politician being the union’s puppet.
– Unions put up former union officials to run for school boards.
– Unions promote state propositions that increase tax to buy more teachers/union members.

But, hey, we have sunshine.

joecollins on January 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

But, hey, we have sunshine.

joecollins on January 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

So does Florida. AND warmer oceans.

Lanceman on January 12, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Thank you Scott Walker for standing up to the unions in Wisconsin

PackerBronco on January 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

That defense from the unions will probably sound familiar to those of you who regularly follow union activity. Whatever it is that they want you to do – no matter how outrageous it may seem – is the default position. And if it seems to be clearly illegal, if not unconstitutional, they point to some obscure clause where the employee can sign a bunch of forms, provide video testimony and donate a pint of blood to “opt out” of their program. Of course, once you do go public and opt out, you mysteriously wind up at the bottom of the list for overtime, promotions, or anything else you might want… assuming you hang on to your job.

In Chicago your pot holes won’t get fixed and there will suddenly be dozens of government inspectors lined up outside of your home, and place of business if you own one. And that’s just for a start. If there are enough people like you in your neighborhood, you might experience a sudden rash of road repair blockades, and it make take years to sort out all of those inspections and get that road work done.

The clown on Christie’s staff was an amateur and a piker at this game. As evidenced by the fact he or she got caught and did something that affected too many innocents.

These things must be done discreetly and they must be well targeted, said The Machine’s Dirty-Tricks-Trainer-In-Chief to Comrade O way back when he was first initiated into club.

BTW, Blago did not learn these lessons very well. That’s why he is where he is today.

farsighted on January 12, 2014 at 1:23 PM

They add that teachers can opt-out of paying dues that fund political activities.

For this alone the teachers should win.

They s/b able to opt in, not out, and the dues should never be for political anything. Alas, they sustain the leftist rats in the land.

Schadenfreude on January 12, 2014 at 1:34 PM

If only…

Schadenfreude on January 12, 2014 at 1:35 PM

No one knows what the 9th Circus is going to do, but the teachers unions have been taking care of Democrats and Democrats only, for years. It’s really about time to level the playing field.

bflat879 on January 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Vicious California Leftists will fight to the last to suppress free speech and keep their Unions’ death grip on California government and politics. California is far and away the least free state in the West, and one of the least free states in America. This lack of freedom directly derives from the tyranny of public sector unions, which utterly control California Democrats, who in turn utterly control California.

The purpose of the judicial branch is to prevent unconstitutional tyranny such as we have in California. We shall see if the Democrat-appointed judiciary does its constitutional duty or succumbs to partisan Leftist politics.

Rogervzv on January 12, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Lawsuit over mandatory teachers union dues moving ahead

Awesome!

While we’re at it, how about getting the Federal Reserve Board out of our pockets and repealing ObummerCare?

unions OUR my cup of tea ????
wow.

dmacleo on January 12, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Give them a break, willya? We have a prez who thinks that we have “corpse men” in the Navy, a Congressman who thinks islands can sink if you put too much weight on them, another one (DeGette) who thinks mags aren’t reusable…

Dems have their own psychotic version of reality…we should pity them.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 12, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Meanwhile, Fox hosts regularly mock and ridicule people on food stamps, many of whom are children, as lazy leaches.

libfreeordie on December 31, 2013 at 11:37 AM

rogerb on January 12, 2014 at 12:30 PM

“leeches”

kim roy on January 12, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Pie our squared.

Lanceman on January 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Pie “are” round. Corn Bread are square.

KW64 on January 12, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Resist we much!

Jackson on January 12, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Moron on display

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Workplace safety?!? How about the fact that my church just put up no less than six of those stupid little “no guns” signs designed by the IL state police? Might as well have put up a sign saying “Yes, we are a defenseless easy target. Please don’t do anything mean.”

Nutstuyu on January 12, 2014 at 6:42 PM

With the number of laws on the books, at the federal and state level, intended to insure worker protections and safety, just what purpose do unions really provide – particularly public sector unions except to elect friendly politicians and receive fiscally lucrative contracts from those politicians in the unions pockets?

Athos on January 12, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Pie our squared. Lanceman on January 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

No dummy, pie are round.

Sheetcake are square.

Akzed on January 12, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Workplace safety?!? How about the fact that my church just put up no less than six of those stupid little “no guns” signs designed by the IL state police? Might as well have put up a sign saying “Yes, we are a defenseless easy target. Please don’t do anything mean.” Nutstuyu on January 12, 2014 at 6:42 PM

You should never set foot in it again.

Akzed on January 12, 2014 at 9:07 PM

dmacleo on January 12, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Easy, she’s an educational professional.

Another Drew on January 13, 2014 at 12:40 AM

Lawsuit over mandatory teachers union dues moving ahead

If by “moving ahead” you mean “was dismissed in its entirety because it is clearly barred by controlling Supreme Court precedent” then, yes. It’s moving ahead.

righty45 on January 13, 2014 at 12:53 AM

Union reps say those fees help their efforts to improve workplace safety, for instance, and get better contracts for all employees. They add that teachers can opt-out of paying dues that fund political activities.

Yeah, and money isn’t fungible.

** fungible in a nutshell, as I explained to a young 20-something last week when I used the term and he hadn’t heard it **

Mom. please help pay my rent for me… no your money won’t go to booze & strippers, but solely to rent. In a sense you’ll “opt out” of paying for booze and stripper in any fashion as I know you’d prefer.

However you’ll free up other money from other income sources; which oddly will go directly to booze & strippers. But since it’s not your money being spent this way, you shouldn’t complain. You’re paying for rent and if you pay enough you may also donate toward my food and maybe some gasoline to get to work with your donation to me and nothing else.

** fungible example concluded… The More You Know ♒☆ **

gekkobear on January 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM