|Unions Brace for Impact of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association|
|posted by: Guest contributor | July 16, 2015, 05:11 PM|
By Conner Dunleavy
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has recently started bracing itself for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The decision could potentially end the practice of forced unionism from coast to coast allowing educators ultimate control over their paychecks.
Already, the AFT has begun preparations for this decision by reaching out to teachers across the country to bring them tighter into the union fold, and provide them with reasons not to leave should the Supreme Court rule against forced unionism. These retention strategies have not yet been boiled down to specifics, but have come in the form of a union-wide resolution which encourages the AFT to seek out such methods of retention. Even without this decision, the union has lost members in recent years.
The Huffington Post recently reported, “Though the legitimacy of fair share fees was upheld by the court decades ago, Justice Samuel Alito signaled in another recent union case, Harris v. Quinn,that the conservative-leaning court might strike down fair share fees on the basis of the First Amendment.” A decision in favor of teacher freedom of choice is a very real possibility.
The implications of this case could be far reaching and impact not only teachers unions, but also all other unions that rely on “agency fee payers” or non-union employees that must contribute to the union wallet.
The fact that unions are now taking steps to improve member engagement and increase membership seem to be “too little, too late.” The AFT is clearly worried about a future without forced dues.
AAE believes that teachers should not be forced to pay a union simply for the privilege of having a job in a public school. AAE believes that teachers, as college-educated professionals, should be able to decide whether union membership matches his or her budget and beliefs. We welcome an America where teacher freedom of choice is the law of the land.
How do you think the Supreme Court will rule in this case?
Tell us in the comments below!
As the 2015 summer intern for AAE, Conner supports the communications and marketing team in the DC AAE office. From the class of 2017, he intends to graduate from the University at Albany with a Bachelor's Degree in European History and a Minor in Education.