No More Forced Unionism?

Teacher union expert Mike Antonucci speculates on what life will be like for teacher unions if Friedrichs v. CTA voids forced dues for teachers,  and ends forced unionism, in EducationNext.  The case is built upon precedents won by the National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation (of which CEAFU is a Special Project), such as Abood and Harris v. Quinn.

For 50 years, American education policy has often danced to the tune of labor realities. How much money is spent, and where, who is hired or fired, how we promote effective teaching, how we measure education outcomes, and more—all are affected by the relative power of the teachers unions at any given moment.

Now a case awaits hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court that could dramatically change this picture. The Far Left periodical In These Times calls Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association the case “that could decimate American public sector unionism.” Perhaps that’s simply an ideological overstatement. Nonetheless, the case, if decided for the plaintiffs, could end the practice of “agency” fees—money paid to the union by nonmembers in exchange for collective bargaining services. Unions call them “fair-share” fees and assert that their elimination would create a class of free riders, workers who would pay nothing while still enjoying the higher salaries and other benefits negotiated by unions.inly not going to disappear.