1-5-16 Supreme Court to Hear California Union-Fee Issue Jan. 11

Education Week - High Stakes in Union-Fee Case Before Supreme Court…The Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11.

Published Online: January 5, 2016

By Mark Walsh

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/01/06/high-stakes-in-union-fee-case-before-supreme.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news1

‘The face of the movement seeking to upend the public-employee labor sector has had a back-and-forth relationship with her own local teachers' union.

Rebecca Friedrichs, the lead plaintiff among a small group of California teachers whose case goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11, started her teaching career in a small school district in Orange County by refusing to join the local union. Later, she joined the union and even became an officer.

Friedrichs is now back to her roots as a so-called agency-fee payer—a nonmember of the union who must pay the proportion of dues that goes for collective bargaining and a few other related costs. The main legal question in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (Case No. 14-915) is whether a key Supreme Court precedent authorizing such agency-fee arrangements should be overruled.

"The unions have core values that are in direct opposition to my core values," Friedrichs said in an interview. "They're using those fees to support their core values and their agenda."

'A Big Deal'

Friedrichs and nine other teachers are asking the Supreme Court to overrule that 1977 precedent, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, and hold that states may not allow unions to exact such fees from public employees who refuse to join…’