The following comes from a May 5 Daily Signal article by Kevin Mooney:
A large California teachers union and its national affiliate are forcing nonunion teachers to pay for political activism, according to a disclosure form acquired by The Daily Signal.
Under a category called “human rights,” both the National Education Association and the California Teachers Association require nonunion teachers to finance LGBT leadership training and other political goals that may run counter to the teachers’ convictions, The Daily Signal’s analysis of the disclosure form shows.
The teachers unions also spend a pretty penny on annual conferences described as focused on education, some of which appear designed instead to further political causes.
For the 2013-14 school year, the teachers unions charged nonmembers as well as members a total of $49,739 for an “Equity Human Rights Conference,” nearly twice as much as the $25,622 deemed not chargeable to nonmembers, the disclosure form shows.
The unions charged nonmembers as well as members a total of $17,108 for an “LGBT Conference,” referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement, with a lower amount, $11,358, that wasn’t charged to nonmembers.
Unions annually send the disclosure, known as a “Hudson notice,” to nonmembers required to pay union fees.
James Sherk, a labor policy analysis with The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal that line items devoted to human rights appear to be superfluous to the California Teachers Association’s negotiating responsibilities.
“This Hudson notice seems to show the union overcharging the nonmembers it represents,” Sherk wrote in an email, adding:
Donating to ‘human rights’ organizations is unrelated to the union’s collective bargaining activities and should not be chargeable to [nonmembers]. This is especially true when many self-described human rights organizations advance an ideological agenda that those nonmembers may not share.
Here are pages from the Hudson notice to nonunion California teachers obtained by The Daily Signal: 2015 Hudson Notice by The Heritage Foundation
California “agency shop” law requires public school teachers and other public school employees to either join a union or pay “fair share” fees as a condition of their employment.
While nonunion members who pay union fees technically are permitted to “opt out” from paying for political activism on top of collective bargaining costs, many teachers view the process as cumbersome and difficult to navigate.
Ten California school teachers made this argument in joining with the Christian Educators Association International in suing to overturn the California law on First Amendment grounds. The 10 teachers also argued that the opt-out arrangement is unconstitutional and that nonmembers “should be presumed to be noncontributors unless they affirmatively opt in.”
The case, known as Friedrichs v. California School Teachers Association, went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which issued an indecisive 4-4 ruling in March. The deadlock in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s Feb. 13 death means a lower court decision in favor of the unions remains in place.
Nonunion teachers must continue to pay fees until the Supreme Court revisits the free-speech objections raised in the Friedrichs suit, which takes its name from Rebecca Friedrichs, one of the nonunion teachers. In the meantime, public school teachers in California and other parts of the country with similar agency shop arrangements must continue to pay fees even if they are not members of a union.