Forced union fees are neither fair nor ‘bipartisan’

The U.S. Supreme Court will likely consider for a second time whether teachers unions should be allowed to force non-union members to pay them for collective bargaining services they don’t want.

“The Association of American Educators, the largest national, non-union teachers’ association, and eight of its California member educators filed a lawsuit last week against the California Teachers Association challenging the constitutionality of California’s ‘agency shop’ law,” AAE reported last month. “‘Agency shop’ arrangements violate educators’ First Amendment guarantee to free speech and free association by forcing public school teachers to support powerful teachers’ union efforts to advance their political agenda through collective bargaining.”

CTA contends its forced union fees are the non-union members’ “fair share,” but what is “fair” about strong-arming people into paying for services they don’t want or need and in many cases violate their moral convictions?

“Fair Share fees are the cost of union representation and bargaining,” CTA’s website states. “No one is forced to join a union, but unions are legally required to represent all workers. Teachers and other public employees who don’t want to belong to a union only have to contribute to the costs of representation they receive.

“Since all workers enjoy the benefits, job security, and other protections the union negotiates, it is only fair that all contribute to the cost of securing those benefits and protections,” CTA further claims. “It’s not fair for some to pay more for the benefits all workers enjoy. The current Fair Share system is a good compromise and common sense.”

Notice the language: “All workers enjoy the benefits … the union negotiates.” How does the union know that? As Larry Sand, president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network, recently told a reporter for the Heartland Institute, for which I work as a…

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