Teachers Challenge Compulsory Union Dues

by Alec Torres

A court case that could bring right to work to all 50 states will soon be on its way to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and eventually, perhaps, to the Supreme Court. Ten California teachers are standing up to the unions, arguing that being forced to support the teachers’ unions’ political activities violates their First Amendment rights:

Over the past 26 years, Rebecca Friedrichs has been forced, as a condition of her employment, to pay tens of thousands of dollars to a private organization whose actions she largely does not support. As an elementary-school teacher in the Savanna School District of Buena Park, Calif., she has more than $1,000 automatically taken out of her salary every year and given to teachers’ unions. Faced with year after year of compulsory payments, Friedrichs is now on a path to end this union coercion.

As the lead plaintiff in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which has recently left the U.S. District Court for California’s Central District and will soon be on its way to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Friedrichs argues that forcing her to financially support union activism for political agendas she disagrees with violates her First Amendment rights.

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