Friedrichs vs. the California Teachers Association is an important case moving before the U.S. Supreme Court that could would be a major blow to all unions if the court rules against the teachers’ union. It is a direct attack unions’ abilities to organize and bargain fair contracts for their members, which centers around the future of what are known as agency fees. To read more about this case and CEA’s take on it, click here. Better yet, attend one of this week’s county forums, where CEA leaders will discuss and how it can impact you as a teacher and us as a union. See the flyer at the bottom of this post.
The following is an editorial from the Opinion Pages section of The New York Times.
A longstanding precedent of labor law is at risk in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. For decades, public-sector unions have been allowed to charge non-members for the costs of collective bargaining on their behalf, but not fees for the unions’ political and lobbying activity, which are paid only by members.
This arrangement, upheld by the court in 1977, strikes a reasonable balance — allowing workers to opt out of paying for political activities they may disagree with while avoiding the “free rider” problem, where non-members benefit from the higher wages and better working conditions achieved through collective bargaining without paying their fair share.
The anti-union movement, which is spreading around the country, wants to weaken and destroy public unions by shrinking their coffers. But the current law is sensible and has been repeatedly upheld by the court. There is no reason to overturn this principle in the California case.