Is the Teacher Being Mistreated?

Ari L. NoonanEditor's Essays, OP-EDLeave a Comment

Rebecca Friedrichs. Photo: Fox News

The Supreme Court this morning agreed to hear an even knottier problem than same-sex marriage.

Can a public union force a non-member to pay dues/fees in a collective bargaining situation?

An Orange County teacher, Rebecca Friedrichs, who objects to supporting the California Teachers Assn., brought the case.

She says union members at her school are charged $1,000 in dues. Ms. Friedrichs and fellow non-members are dinged $650 to cover their share of the cost of collective bargaining, and that is wrong, she contends.

As clear as the nubs of the same-sex marriage and the Obamacare language cases were, this dilemma is rife with thorns.

Instinctively, I am sympathetic with Ms. Friedrichs. Rationally, I am supportive of the union. If she prevails, she would be  deriving benefits from collective bargaining negotiations free while fellow teachers would have been docked. That is morally wrong.

Ms. Friedrichs argues that her guarantee of free speech is ruptured by the teachers union’s compulsory rule.

That is a valid argument, but probably should not be the one that prevails next year.

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