Supreme Court may free teachers from forced union dues

posted at 3:31 pm on January 10, 2016 by Jason Hart

Monday the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case that could bring freedom from forced union fees to teachers and other public employees across the country.

In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, Rebecca Friedrichs is asking for the right to choose whether to pay a labor union. Because California isn’t a right-to-work state, she has to pay nearly $1,000 per year in union fees in order to teach.

Those mandatory fees, the legal reasoning goes, are permissible because they cover costs CTA, CTA’s local chapter, and the National Education Association incur representing nonmembers. Forced union fees cannot be spent on politics.

But Friedrichs believes all teachers union activities — not just their open campaigning for left-wing causes and candidates — are political. As a result, she argues, making teachers pay unions violates First Amendment protections against compelled political speech.

Public-sector union bargaining over pay, benefits, and work conditions is inherently political because it always involves taxpayer money, public employees, and government services. Despite recognizing this, Supreme Court precedent treats “labor peace” as more important than workers’ free speech rights.

If the Friedrichs case prompts the Court to overturn its 1977 Abood v. Detroit Board of Education decision, millions of public employees will gain the freedom to choose whether to pay a union.

Under the status quo, if you’re a teacher or government employee living in one of 23 states without public-sector right-to-work, you can:

  1. Choose to join the union, and pay the union
  2. Choose not to join the union, and pay the union anyway
  3. Choose not to join or pay the union, and… sorry, the union just had you fired from your job

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy recently talked about Friedrichs v. CTA with Ms. Friedrichs and two of the other plaintiffs, if you’re interested in learning more about their fight to restore their free speech rights:

Teachers union officials are, as you’d expect, furious at Friedrichs for threatening their flow of mandatory fees. The vitriol they’re lobbing at Friedrichs and her lawyers is as predictable (“Kochs!!!”) as it is dishonest.

A win for Friedrichs wouldn’t end public-sector unions. It wouldn’t restrict in any way the ability of public teachers or other government employees to organize, join, or support a union, despite breathless union warnings otherwise.

Still, union leaders will make every effort to muddy the waters at the Supreme Court.

If you’re bored Monday, try counting the ways NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garcia (2015 pay: $416,633) and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten (2015 pay: $497,118) insist teachers should be forced to pay unions — for their own good.

I’m helping the Mackinac Center cover the Friedrichs case this month. For the latest, visit mackinac.org/friedrichs.

A ruling in Friedrichs v. CTA is expected in June.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I thought we ended “mandatory union due” in 1865.

Rix on January 10, 2016 at 3:37 PM

I wonder what kind of living hell will be thrust upon the teachers opting out..

bernzright777 on January 10, 2016 at 3:39 PM

But Friedrichs believes all teachers union activities — not just their open campaigning for left-wing causes and candidates — are political. As a result, she argues, making teachers pay unions violates First Amendment protections against compelled political speech.

That’s a good point but it shouldn’t even matter. Unions have no right to “represent” people who don’t want to be represented by them in salary negotiations and non-union members have a right to be considered for work – since unions have no right to any sort of ownership in any business – certainly not in for any government positions.

People have the right to bind together for negotiations but those groups have no ownership in the businesses (and certainly not the governments) they are negotiating with. The fact that we ever let unions grab shares of ownership in businesses just because those businesses were willing to give the losers jobs is insane. Being hired to do a job doesn’t entitle one to any ownership in that business.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 10, 2016 at 3:40 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

#Choice

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 3:42 PM

Urban…predictable.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 3:43 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Gay.

bernzright777 on January 10, 2016 at 3:43 PM

Urban, you’re trash. Forever.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Clearly choice is good if you’re killing a baby, but bad if you want a job without mandatory union fees. Can’t SCOTUS understand such a simple distinction?

/s

xNavigator on January 10, 2016 at 3:44 PM

Urban…you’re a totalitarian anti free speech pos. Yes…trash.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Urban…you’re a totalitarian anti free speech pos. Yes…trash.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 3:46 PM

He cried like a baby when the USSR fell.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 10, 2016 at 3:47 PM

Freedom…..I hate it….

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

VegasRick on January 10, 2016 at 3:50 PM

It’s not a free speech argument. It’s an effort to crush any ability of the middle class to band together to negotiate for decent wages and working conditions. Unions are a threat the to grotesque wealth and political influence of the Donald Trumps of the world and so they must be crushed.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:53 PM

urban butthurtelitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:53 PM

bernzright777 on January 10, 2016 at 3:59 PM

It’s an effort to crush any ability of the middle class to band together

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:53 PM

To “band together” requires ones volition. Forcing people to join something is not “banding together”. Unions can negotiate for their members. They have no right to force anyone into their group. But you like forcing people into groups. You like forcing people to do whatever you want. That’s the sort of lowlife tyrant you and yours want to be.

You and yours hate freedom more than pretty much anything else. Don’t you have an American flag to go burn?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 10, 2016 at 3:59 PM

Forced union dues are a de-facto tax on middle-class union members, thereby depriving them of that purchasing power for their families.

It is an utter abomination that workers have to pay for the right to work.

ICBM on January 10, 2016 at 4:03 PM

Don’t you have an American flag to go burn?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 10, 2016 at 3:59 PM

Highly unlikely.

bernzright777 on January 10, 2016 at 4:04 PM

A win for Friedrichs wouldn’t end public-sector unions. It wouldn’t restrict in any way the ability of public teachers or other government employees to organize, join, or support a union

It won’t, but it should. Unions are a cancer on America and urban’s vaunted Middle Class. They may have been beneficial once upon a time, but that was a long time ago. Much like a woman’s breast may have nutured her young, once it becomes malignant, it will kill her. Union have long since become malignant and should be destroyed, ground into dust and scattered to the four winds.

Rogue on January 10, 2016 at 4:10 PM

The Left wing has enslaved teachers and government employees long enough. Their war on middle class workers with coercion and intimidation has to be stopped.

Connecticut on January 10, 2016 at 4:13 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 10, 2016 at 3:59 PM

Nailed it.

vnvet on January 10, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Government unions were authorized by a Executive Order by JFK. It could be eliminated by one too.

Dasher on January 10, 2016 at 4:15 PM

The Left wing has enslaved teachers and government employees long enough. Their war on middle class workers with coercion and intimidation has to be stopped.

Connecticut on January 10, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Enslaved? Most of them are very happy to operate the whip handle. Teachers in my township are openly boasting to their students, during the class (!!), how nice their perks are while simultaneously complaining that getting the salary to six digits takes longer than a decade.

Rix on January 10, 2016 at 4:17 PM

I’m sorry, but do you have a constitutional right “to forced dues subsidized by taxpayers”

HumpBot Salvation on January 10, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Looking at the HA Headlines, it appears the RINOs that run this site may have reached a new low in trashing Trump. I didn’t think that Garrison Keillor was still alive.

bw222 on January 10, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Right now the union leaders are a lot like the Squeegee men.

VorDaj on January 10, 2016 at 4:20 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

LOL, you’re stupid.

HumpBot Salvation on January 10, 2016 at 4:20 PM

I pray that the SC abolishes this rule. California (and many other states I would imagine) became Tammany Hall one-party states when this rule first guaranteed a constant flow of money to Democrats. This would break their backs.

Jerry Brown signed this law into effect in his last week of his first term. Since then, millions have been deducted from paychecks before the employee even sees it and then sent it electronically to the union. You can guess what the union does with it, and this happens to employees all over the nation. When I sued our union, they admitted that 80% of all these monies went to their PAC, and of that virtually 100% to Democrats.

So we had to pay only 20% of the forced dues, but what we really wanted was to abolish the rule. The courts were just not ready to do that. Sure hope they are now.

PattyJ on January 10, 2016 at 4:24 PM

It’s not a free speech argument. It’s an effort to crush any ability of the middle class to band together to negotiate for decent wages and working conditions. Unions are a threat the to grotesque wealth and political influence of the Donald Trumps of the world and so they must be crushed.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:53 PM

Separate out public employee unions from private unions. This case is not about private unions.

Public employees negotiate salary and working conditions with their own representative government. In the case at hand, if a public employee does not pay a designated lobbying organization to lobby on their behalf, they’re fired. They’re not allowed to designate an alternative lobbying organization; they have to pay the chosen one.

Normally, you are allowed to pick and chose who you support (if anyone) to lobby the government.

Do you see the problem?

Pythagoras on January 10, 2016 at 4:29 PM

Democrats losing the teachers unions money? Not going to be allowed to happen. They’ll be call the Chief Traitor, John ‘Benedict’ Roberts to discuss his Denny Hastert problem or whatever it is that they have on him to ensure the correct Supreme Court vote.

RJL on January 10, 2016 at 4:33 PM

I assume that those opposed to union dues will immediately give up all the wage increases, benefit and job protections unions have negotiated over the years.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.
urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

LOL, you’re stupid.

HumpBot Salvation on January 10, 2016 at 4:20 PM

If you believe that this lawsuit is about anything other than attacking Union power, you’re too stupid to live.

The “free speech” argument it the product of some right wing think tank — a manufactured excuse for a politicized Court to strike a blow for their paymasters.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:39 PM

Choose to join the union, and pay the union
Choose not to join the union, and pay the union anyway
Choose not to join or pay the union, and… sorry, the union just had you fired from your job

Sounds like any job with forced union dues in Washington state. Employers have to send names of anyone working, to see if they fall under “full time” and whether or not they are paying (forced) union dues.

Sarge

AFSarge on January 10, 2016 at 4:40 PM

I assume that those opposed to union dues will immediately give up all the wage increases, benefit and job protections unions have negotiated over the years.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Those greedy bastards! Oh, wait!!!!!!!

VegasRick on January 10, 2016 at 4:40 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

The main cause of middle class decline is the fact that the labor markets are flooded with massive number if immigrants (legal and otherwise), which drives down middle class wages.

Thought experiment for you: How is a union going to survive, if employers can lay off the union employees in an instant, and replace them with immigrants who are willing to work for slaves wages?

There is a reason that income inequality is worse in areas that are dominated by progressive politics. Flyover country is much more egalitarian.

SubmarineDoc on January 10, 2016 at 4:41 PM

I assume that those opposed to [FORCED] union dues will immediately give up all the wage increases, benefit and job protections unions have negotiated over the years.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

LOL. Sure, if all the union thugs are going to be fired, which they should be. Those who don’t want to be in the unions have that right and have to negotiate their salaries (or just accept whatever is offered) on their own. And if there are many who are willing to accept less than the union thugs then the union thugs shouldn’t be hired in the future.

How about the unions being forced to repay everyone for all the money they extorted out of them (and having to pay interest and fines, as well as serving jail time for their extortion)?

Frankly, for the easy job that teaching K-12 is (one of the easiest jobs around) the salaries and benefits they get are totally outrageous.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 10, 2016 at 4:46 PM

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

If you are a good worker the company will pay you what you’re worth.

Not so with the Government. You can be the most incompetent worker and still can not be fired.

Just look at all the misfits in the rubber rooms in NYC.

Barred on January 10, 2016 at 4:49 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Ms handle implies she has selected to be part of the “elite”, you know the creme d’la creme. That best part that floats to the top of milk. However, it would be more appropriate and accurate to explain to her that she is not associated with creme, but the phart inflated shit that floats to the top of the septic. She has the vocabulary of a thide rate (grade) teacher that can’t get a job anywhere else.

Old Country Boy on January 10, 2016 at 4:50 PM

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

…F R E E D O M …!!!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 10, 2016 at 4:51 PM

I’m sorry, but do you have a constitutional right “to forced dues subsidized by taxpayers”

HumpBot Salvation on January 10, 2016 at 4:18 PM

I’m quite certain John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy will find such a “right”.

Gator Country on January 10, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Frankly, for the easy job that teaching K-12 is (one of the easiest jobs around) the salaries and benefits they get are totally outrageous.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 10, 2016 at 4:46 PM

I could see K-5, maybe K-6 as a bit of a cake walk. But 6-12 in today’s public schools, I bet, could be quite challenging.

bernzright777 on January 10, 2016 at 4:52 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Tell us which union you pay dues to.

docflash on January 10, 2016 at 4:57 PM

I could see K-5, maybe K-6 as a bit of a cake walk. But 6-12 in today’s public schools, I bet, could be quite challenging.

bernzright777 on January 10, 2016 at 4:52 PM

I could see combat pay in some districts.

wifarmboy on January 10, 2016 at 4:58 PM

A

win for Friedrichs wouldn’t end public-sector unions. It wouldn’t restrict in any way the ability of public teachers or other government employees to organize, join, or support a union

It would pretty much end the public sector unions and the teachers’ union, especially in those states which were not right to work states. Many do not want to join a union but are forced to pay union dues. Those who do not support liberal pols. and agendas are forced to pay for the contributions to dems. My wife, a school teacher for 30 yrs. refused to join any union and pay any dues (we live in a right to work state) once it became clear that her dues were going to support liberal politicians whom she would never support in any way.

they lie on January 10, 2016 at 5:04 PM

The ending of automatic dues payments aka “checkoff” will all but destroy public sector unions. Which should be met with celebrations across the nation.

AYNBLAND on January 10, 2016 at 5:05 PM

I assume that those opposed to union dues will immediately give up all the wage increases, benefit and job protections unions have negotiated over the years.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Sorry, no union negotiated any of that for me ever.

SDN on January 10, 2016 at 5:18 PM

The “free speech” argument it the product of some right wing think tank — a manufactured excuse for a politicized Court to strike a blow for their paymasters.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:39 PM

Do you really call that an argument? Like magic.

You’re more dishonest and ignorant than first thought .

#Lame

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 5:18 PM

It would be especially cool if they told the teacher’s union they had to pay back the fees collected by NON UNION employees. That would make the wife smile.

kurtzz3 on January 10, 2016 at 5:19 PM

I could see K-5, maybe K-6 as a bit of a cake walk. But 6-12 in today’s public schools, I bet, could be quite challenging.

bernzright777 on January 10, 2016 at 4:52 PM

Sure, it can be a challenging job at times. But we’re talking about a job that is 40 hours or less per week. They get, on average, 3 months of vacation a year. Additionally, recall that many teachers and other government workers still receive publicly funded pensions when they retire, even when their private sector counterparts don’t get a dime. The majority of teaching jobs are in air conditioning and heating, and involve little to no physical exertion. The job is extremely repeatable – once a teacher has their teaching materials set up, they can auto pilot through both lectures and grading. If a teacher has a poor performance day, there is no punishment, other than that the students struggle. The government-backed unions protect teachers from any kind of performance incentives. And of course, once a terrible teacher gets tenure, there is even less incentive to give students a good education.

I’m not trying to say that teaching isn’t important. It definitely is. But the fact that places like Kahn Academy get such rave reviews shows that the current public education system, and its unions, are anti-competitive. The fact that private schools provide nearly universally better outcomes with less funding shows public schools are not competitive. If you have to go outside of the system to get a competitive education, then the system is broken.

Nephew Sam on January 10, 2016 at 5:19 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

You mean like forcing the public to pay higher taxes to make sure that teacher pay remains far in excess of market rates? You mean THAT war on the middle class?

307wolverine on January 10, 2016 at 5:22 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban effetist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

1. Ha! Can you prove that the California teacher who filed this is “right wing”? No, you can’t.

F- #1.

2. As for your quaint “middle class” Lie, this woman is a public school teacher in California. Many public school teachers in California make more than $80,000 a year, which puts them out of the middle class. The California average public school teacher salary is $69,000, at the very top end of the “middle class”.

The average NY City public school teacher salary is $75,000, also at the very top of the “middle class”.

Boston public school teachers also make around $75,000 a year; many make a lot more. Some make as much as $125,000 a year.

F- #2.

Del Dolemonte on January 10, 2016 at 5:24 PM

If you believe that this lawsuit is about anything other than attacking Union power, you’re too stupid to live.

The “free speech” argument it the product of some right wing think tank — a manufactured excuse for a politicized Court to strike a blow for their paymasters.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:39 PM

LOL, you’re really, really, really stupid.

HumpBot Salvation on January 10, 2016 at 5:27 PM

I assume that those opposed to union dues will immediately give up all the wage increases, benefit and job protections unions have negotiated over the years.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

So, how would you feel about “union choice” where teachers could choose which union (AKA lobbying group) they supported?

Pythagoras on January 10, 2016 at 5:30 PM

I could see K-5, maybe K-6 as a bit of a cake walk. But 6-12 in today’s public schools, I bet, could be quite challenging.

bernzright777 on January 10, 2016 at 4:52 PM

Not in terms of content. However, as with respect to below:

I could see combat pay in some districts.

wifarmboy on January 10, 2016 at 4:58 PM

Absolutely. And those schools would have to pay more if people demanded more to teach there. Otherwise, the state might have to actually make those schools safe enough so that they could get teachers willing to go there for whatever they are paying.

But, in terms of content, effort, skill and hours, teaching k-12 is a total joke. And a lot of teachers make a good buck tutoring outside of school, too – which you can do when your hours are easy and you only work 8 months a year.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 10, 2016 at 5:36 PM

urban elitist always siding with Communists and Nazis

The Notorious G.O.P on January 10, 2016 at 5:36 PM

Those mandatory fees, the legal reasoning goes, are permissible because they cover costs CTA, CTA’s local chapter, and the National Education Association incur representing nonmembers. Forced union fees cannot be spent on politics.

Sigh. More nonsense.

Revenue from forced union fees — like all monies — is fungible. Whatever part of dues spent on “costs” frees up more money for politics.

Teachers are supposed to be the educated ones.

Lolo on January 10, 2016 at 5:40 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

OCD. There is medication for that condition. They may work for you…they may not. You have to want to be helped.

Mimzey on January 10, 2016 at 5:47 PM

I’ve heard that the fee is sometimes as high as the union dues. Quite a coincidence.

Furthermore, money is fungible, and the more people who are forced to pay the fee the more money the union has to spend on the political causes their leaders love. In other words, the union uses all the fee money to run the union and all the dues money to support its political causes. Without fees the union members would have to fund their political causes out of their own pocket.

Fred 2 on January 10, 2016 at 5:55 PM

I assume that those opposed to union dues will immediately give up all the wage increases, benefit and job protections unions have negotiated over the years.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

Why should they? They have been forced on pain of firing to pay the union dues all these years, indistinguishable from obedient union-lovers like yourself. Do you believe they should be retroactively punished because you disapprove?

Or did you mean that the unions would then agree to pay back all the dues to those employees who choose to withdraw from the union? I can see how that would might be fair.

BTW, before public sector unions were legalized, teachers and other government employees still had good salaries commensurate with the skill and educational levels required, with excellent pensions and great job security. There was never any era in which public sector employment was NOT considered a sinecure. It was only with the advent of public sector unions that wages, benefits and pensions inflated grotesquely to budget-busting levels, levels that are bringing many municipalities to the edge of bankruptcy.

Are you so concerned about that little slice of “the middle class” in government employment that you think no sacrifice on the part of tax-payers is too great?

Dolce Far Niente on January 10, 2016 at 6:04 PM

Monday the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case that could bring freedom from forced union fees to teachers and other public employees across the country.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:34 PM

Forced union dues are a de-facto tax on middle-class union members, thereby depriving them of that purchasing power for their families.

It is an utter abomination that workers have to pay for the right to work.

ICBM on January 10, 2016 at 4:03 PM

They’re paying for the benefits they get from union activities which include better pay and benefits. Why do conservatives champion parasitism and call it responsibility?

Just curious…

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:38 PM

Why should they?

Dolce Far Niente on January 10, 2016 at 6:04 PM

Because they aren’t willing to pay for them, duh.

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:39 PM

They’re paying for the benefits they get from union activities which include better pay and benefits.

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:38 PM

Then the unions should have no trouble persuading people to pony up for their “services.”

But you’d rather workers be robbed without their consent because you’re a violent, weak-minded thug who is incapable of persuading people via reasoned argument.

thirtyandseven on January 10, 2016 at 6:47 PM

They’re paying for the benefits they get from union activities which include better pay and benefits. Why do conservatives champion parasitism and call it responsibility?

Just curious…

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:38 PM

and they protect incompetent teachers (almost all) who are destroying the next generation.

publish the SAT scores of all teachers. they average below 500 on each section.

avi natan on January 10, 2016 at 6:51 PM

Tialoc, You’re the parasite. When you leeches pay back all you’ve stolen…let’s talk.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 6:59 PM

NEW YORK — Hundreds of New York City public school teachers accused of offenses ranging from insubordination to sexual misconduct are being paid their full salaries to sit around all day playing Scrabble, surfing the Internet or just staring at the wall, if that’s what they want to do.
Because their union contract makes it extremely difficult to fire them, the teachers have been banished by the school system to its “rubber rooms” — off-campus office space where they wait months, even years, for their disciplinary hearings.
The 700 or so teachers can practice yoga, work on their novels, paint portraits of their colleagues — pretty much anything but school work. They have summer vacation just like their classroom colleagues and enjoy weekends and holidays through the school year.

Tialoc, you’re thieves. FO.

CWforFreedom on January 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM

urban elitist, we formed our own association and we protected our jobs and the public too. We funded it from our own voluntary payments. Nothing wrong with that. But our “union” sold us down the river long before and still kept our money.

PattyJ on January 10, 2016 at 7:06 PM

It’s not a free speech argument. It’s an effort to crush any ability of the middle class to band together to negotiate for decent wages and working conditions.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:53 PM

If I am required by law, backed by the threat of violence, to “band together,” that’s not banding together, that’s conscription.

I assume that those opposed to union dues will immediately give up all the wage increases, benefit and job protections unions have negotiated over the years.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 4:36 PM

If you wash my car, that still benefits me.

But if I specifically told you that I dd not want you to wash my car, should you still be allowed to charge me a detailing fee for washing it?

No? Then how is that any different from a union charging me a fee for “representation” I specifically told them I did not want?

They’re paying for the benefits they get from union activities which include better pay and benefits.

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:38 PM

Your “you get those benefits only because the union negotiated a contract” argument is the same as saying illegal alien fruit pickers only get those jobs because other people refuse them. Should those fruit pickers have to pay dues to those who refused those jobs? After all, their refusal is the only thing that enabled them to make that money.

Economies are interconnected, Tlaloc. Get over that.

To be fair, “right to work” does misrepresent the facts. The accurate way to put it would be to say “right to refuse a service I do not want.” That’s the right you’re saying I should not be allowed to have.

But then, you’re an ObamaCare supporter, so the idea that you don’t think I should have the right to refuse to pay for a service I don’t want is hardly surprising. I have no desire to ever have an abortion either (as a pro-life male in his late 50s), but you still think I should have to pay for them, and should have my property confiscated if I refuse.

GrumpyOldFart on January 10, 2016 at 7:15 PM

OK, does anyone believe that the Supreme Court will rule using the law and the Constitution? After the last 8 years? They will rule according to what the Left wants, and nothing else.

Subotai Bahadur on January 10, 2016 at 7:24 PM

Rix on January 10, 2016 at 4:17 PM

The majority of teachers I know, and I know a lot (including multiple family members), the only benefit they see is getting the “free” liability insurance premiums…

ladyingray on January 10, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Hey, Urban, you want to know what’s really killing the middle class? It’s crony capitalism with its barriers to entry that are keeping poor people poor. If you’re poor but have a knack for hair styling, too bad because you need to cough up the big bucks to go to cosmetology school if you want to get near anyone’s head with a pair of scissors. You and your ilk plus a horrifying number of Republicans are all for this. This is why you’ve never been able to lift people out of poverty in deep blue bastions like Baltimore and Boston. You believe the pittances the welfare state tosses to poor people are better for them than true economic opportunity.

Occams Stubble on January 10, 2016 at 7:57 PM

Hey, Urban, you want to know what’s really killing the middle class? It’s crony capitalism with its barriers to entry that are keeping poor people poor. If you’re poor but have a knack for hair styling, too bad because you need to cough up the big bucks to go to cosmetology school if you want to get near anyone’s head with a pair of scissors. You and your ilk plus a horrifying number of Republicans are all for this. This is why you’ve never been able to lift people out of poverty in deep blue bastions like Baltimore and Boston. You believe the pittances the welfare state tosses to poor people are better for them than true economic opportunity.

Occams Stubble on January 10, 2016 at 7:57 PM

He can’t hear you. He’s running later for his shift on the Obama Fluffing Team.

307wolverine on January 10, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Why should they?

Dolce Far Niente on January 10, 2016 at 6:04 PM

Because they aren’t willing to pay for them, duh.

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:39 PM

They have already paid, for the entirety of their careers. If you have paid for a service, you are entitled to that service. Is this too advanced a concept for you?

In future, if they choose to decline that service its certainly reasonable that the union no longer negotiates for them, but you appear to want to strip them of everything they have already paid for in the past.

You seem to think that because the teachers are not grateful enough for something they were compelled to do, they should be punished. Good thing you haven’t reproduced.

Dolce Far Niente on January 10, 2016 at 8:41 PM

307wolverine on January 10, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Its not just fluffing, he has been promoted to the Scrotal Shampooing team. If he does well, he will be going for his solo in Conditioner Application in about 6 months.

Dolce Far Niente on January 10, 2016 at 8:44 PM

Its not just fluffing, he has been promoted to the Scrotal Shampooing team. If he does well, he will be going for his solo in Conditioner Application in about 6 months.

Dolce Far Niente on January 10, 2016 at 8:44 PM

I’m sure he’ll do well. He certainly puts his heart into it.

307wolverine on January 10, 2016 at 9:40 PM

They’re paying for the benefits they get from union activities which include better pay and benefits. Why do conservatives champion parasitism and call it responsibility?

Just curious…

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:38 PM

The unions are the parasites; the cost of negotiating a 3-5 year contract are a small fraction of the dues collected.
Since the legal services are probably farmed out by the unions then how about putting these services up for bids?
Of course you are in favor of the union parasites continuing to bleed the employees white.

mad scientist on January 10, 2016 at 10:11 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Since you’re stuck on stupid…

The teacher suing is part of the middle class… who doesn’t want to be forced into paying for a political group that acts AGAINST her personal interests. In other words, she doesn’t want to be forced to labor for another’s personal power. Why do you leftists always gravitate back to human slavery?

dominigan on January 10, 2016 at 10:16 PM

Sure, it can be a challenging job at times. But we’re talking about a job that is 40 hours or less per week. They get, on average, 3 months of vacation a year. Additionally, recall that many teachers and other government workers still receive publicly funded pensions when they retire, even when their private sector counterparts don’t get a dime. The majority of teaching jobs are in air conditioning and heating, and involve little to no physical exertion. The job is extremely repeatable – once a teacher has their teaching materials set up, they can auto pilot through both lectures and grading. If a teacher has a poor performance day, there is no punishment, other than that the students struggle. The government-backed unions protect teachers from any kind of performance incentives. And of course, once a terrible teacher gets tenure, there is even less incentive to give students a good education.

Nephew Sam on January 10, 2016 at 5:19 PM

Total bullshit, here. I taught in public schools for nearly 10 years. While the contracts generally only pay for 35-40 hours a week, teachers put in much, much more than that. On a typical week, I put in between 50 and 60 hours. While not physically exhausting, it is most certainly mentally exhausting. No teacher worth their salt simply coasts through their job, because every year, every class is different. Examples that worked for one class don’t work for another; activities that succeeded one year bomb the next. A teacher’s work is never done, because learning should never stop.

As for teachers’ unions, the local unions have not yet worn out their welcome. While not common, there are some communities that have attitudes like the one above: that teachers don’t do jack shit and get paid way too much. Its those communities that decide to pay a teacher less than poverty level, or want to get rid of more experienced teachers because they cost more, because “The job is extremely repeatable” and anyone can do it.

The state and national unions should be forcibly extricated from our country…

mrteachersir on January 10, 2016 at 10:43 PM

It’s not a free speech argument. It’s an effort to crush any ability of the middle class to band together to negotiate for decent wages and working conditions. Unions are a threat the to grotesque wealth and political influence of the Donald Trumps of the world and so they must be crushed.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:53 PM

I would hardly call Randi Weingarten middle class.

herm2416 on January 10, 2016 at 11:21 PM

Look in today’s Chicago Sun Times….what the CTU is up to….$48m in ONE real estate sale, a residential apartment building for retired teachers….proceeds for “community groups”, a fraction to actual education.

herm2416 on January 10, 2016 at 11:25 PM

The right wing’s war on the middle class continues.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:4

Your war on Constitutional right continues…

Ricard on January 10, 2016 at 11:41 PM

They’re paying for the benefits they get from union activities which include better pay and benefits. Why do conservatives champion parasitism and call it responsibility?

Just curious…

Tlaloc on January 10, 2016 at 6:38 PM

Still fighting Freedom of Association I see.

Ricard on January 10, 2016 at 11:43 PM

That’s the wonderful thing about a Union, you don’t need that so-called freedom any more.

Kenosha Kid on January 11, 2016 at 12:17 AM

mrteachersir on January 10, 2016 at 10:43 PM

Thank you for your hard work. However, if you read my links, you can see that the average teacher doesn’t necessarily choose to go above and beyond the call of duty.

At the end of the day, most teachers are on the public payroll, where politics takes precedence over merit. Until we introduce vouchers or charter schools, I don’t believe it can be competitive.

On a typical week, I put in between 50 and 60 hours. While not physically exhausting, it is most certainly mentally exhausting. No teacher worth their salt simply coasts through their job, because every year, every class is different.

mrteachersir on January 10, 2016 at 10:43 PM

Do you think your fellow teachers in other subjects were putting in as many hours as you were? In a free market, you would have received higher pay than your peers who were not working as hard. My guess is that your peers who worked less than 40 hours per week received the exact same benefits: tenure, 3 months vacation, pension, and low deductible state funded health insurance.

Nephew Sam on January 11, 2016 at 2:05 AM

Govt unions should not be allowed to exist.

cimbri on January 11, 2016 at 2:32 AM

It’s an effort to crush any ability of the middle class to band together to negotiate for decent wages and working conditions.

urban elitist on January 10, 2016 at 3:53 PM

FU, UE, and all your communist friends.

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 10:14 AM

because “The job is extremely repeatable” and anyone can do it

mrteachersir on January 10, 2016 at 10:43 PM

While you are correct that the job is not necessarily “repeatable” it really doesn’t require nearly as much specialized training as the teacher advocates like to claim. Most anyone can teach children the vast majority of subjects up through high school if they have a good education themselves, and they are allowed to discipline the children.

GWB on January 11, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Wow! As a former teacher, this would be a great move to remove the unions at last. Make sure, however, that teachers are truly educated and trained to manage a classroom of more than 28. I always had 42 or more but I had been taught how to manage a classroom! Also, stop the stupid Common Core program which is so stupid, weird and many times not able to be understood (look up some of the questions online) even by engineers and mathematicians! Like we learned 9 + 6 = 15 but not always in Common Core, and no way can this be math as math is static! Stop not teaching our country’s history, why we are a Republic, and why we can even offer free great education again. Why must our children still be children at age 30? In China children start real school at 3 and 4 years of age and you wonder why they are ahead of us in so many ways. Discipline, respect, attention, doing the homework, and stop the teach off days which I never had because most were out selling real estate or something else. Conferences? Never had them to attend and waste time. Get back to basics, truly educated teachers and observe them to be sure they know how to teach and what to teach and also learn to dress as a professional and not in jeans, tight clothes, etc. and even thinking of molesting or sexually advances with students, then out the door and certification removed then and there! Teachers need to be vetted: no living with a woman or man in sexual livings, no constant divorces, whether male or female teacher which implies there is something wrong going on, coming in early and leaving late to help students or talk to the parents, and more. In other words, get back to real education with real and moral teachers and stop teaching garbage. I taught private religious school and public schools. I preferred the private for so many great reasons and not the public school system which actually denigrated me and other teachers and our skills for the funky and skunky! and all thanks to the unions.

Roselle on January 11, 2016 at 3:58 PM