The case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association may have a big effect on public employee unions. LBN’s Ryan Gaumont reports that ten California teachers who sued their union have taken their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was argued to the Court on Monday.
The teachers’ contention is that their rights under the First Amendment are violated by their having to pay “fair share service fee” to the teachers’ union to pay for the collective bargaining services the union provide. However, the union, like other public sector unions, takes political positions in the course of collective bargaining. Teachers who pay the fair share fee are able to get a refund of part of their fee that represents money the union spent urging causes with which the teachers disagree. The refunds are $350-$400 out of the $970 fair share fee.
The fair share fee concept was approved by the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. The fair share fee rule has been unpopular with conservatives for decades. A decision for the ten California teachers could have an effect on public unions everywhere. A decision will be handed down by the Court by the in June, the end of the current term of the Court.
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