Union Fees Case Before US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court will hear argument on the right of teachers’ unions to charge non-members ‘service’ or ‘agency’ fees.

In Connecticut the Teacher Negotiation Act lets each union bargain for all of that board’s employees. The teachers in that district that don’t belong to the union must still pay a share of what it costs the union to negotiate contracts and adjust grievances.

apple on booksThose non-members have always objected to these fees. They claim the fees violate free speech by forcing them to pay for the union’s side on all issues. The unions counter that they don’t charge non-members for political work, and the non-members get to enjoy the same contracts and defense as members.

The case to be argued to the Court comes from Illinois. The teacher behind it did not want to pay $44.58 every month. While his case may overturn forty years of Supreme Court precedent, he says he has no interest in setting a nationwide standard for all teachers. He simply objects on principle.