The California Teachers Association, along with its national affiliate, the National Education Association, are using the banner of “human rights” to force non-union teachers to pay for controversial political activism, including LGBT campaigns.
The discovery was made by the Daily Signal upon reviewing union financial disclosure information: “The form shows that unions charged $1.1 million in ‘human rights’ costs to nonunion teachers as well as members in 2013-14, while identifying another $1.2 million in the same category as not chargeable to those who weren’t members.”
Under California’s “agency shop” law, public school teachers and other public school employees are reportedly required to either join a union or pay “fair share” fees as a condition of their employment.
While non-union members are not charged for explicitly political activities, some of the “non-political” functions on which their union dues are spent have a political agenda.
Disclosure forms sent to non-union teachers specifying the portion of dues exempted from expenditures on political activities are called “Hudson notices.”
The disclosure forms compiled by the Daily Signal suggest that the teachers unions are spending “non-political” dues on political projects, such as annual conferences that are presented as focused on education but are really designed to advance social and political causes.
For example, non-union members and members alike were charged $49,739 for the “Equity Human Rights Conference” in the 2013-2014 school year. That figure is reportedly double the $25,622 that the unions deemed not chargeable to nonmembers, the disclosure form shows. Furthermore, nonmembers as well as members were also charged a total of $17,108 for an “LGBT Conference,” and posted a lower amount of $11,358 that was not charged to nonmembers.
However, the Daily Signal notes that the opt-out form must be completed by a hard deadline, and that nonunion members who do not meet that date must pay the full union fee, which is around $1,000. Additionally, complaints have been made that the opting-out process is difficult to navigate.
A group of 10 California school teachers sued to overturn the dues requirement in Friedrichs v. California School Teachers Association, which went all the way to the Supreme Court. Following Justice Antonin Scalia’s February 13 passing, however, the Court left the law intact with an indecisive 4-4 ruling, which means a lower court decision which favors the unions will remain in place for now.
Until the Supreme Court revisits the Friedrichs suit, non-union teachers will need to continue paying dues.
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