The Fairness Center and National Right to Work Foundation-provided staff attorneys jointly represent a group of Pennsylvania teachers challenging the Pennsylvania State Education Association’s and its local affiliates’ practice of forcing nonmember teachers to financially support a union. Teachers Greg Hartnett of the Homer Center School District, Elizabeth Galaska of the Twin Valley School District, and John Cress and Robert Brough, Jr. of the Ellwood City Area School District have chosen not to be union members. Yet current law allows unions, through collective bargaining with public employers, to require nonmembers to pay union fees regardless of whether they want the unions’ representation. Collective bargaining is inherently political, and compelling nonmembers to pay fees to a union that they have chosen not to join violates core protections of the First Amendment.
Compulsory union fees assessed to nonmembers violate nonmembers’ Constitutional rights of free speech and free association. Teachers and other public employees should not have to pay for activity and representation they do not support.