CaseHartnett v. PSEA

Case Status

Plaintiffs appealed their case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. 

Case Details

Gregory J. Hartnett, Elizabeth M. Galaska, Robert G. Brough, Jr., and John M. Cress v. Pennsylvania State Education Association; Homer-Center Education Association; Twin Valley Education Association; Ellwood Area Education Association; Homer-Center School District; Twin Valley School District; Ellwood City Area School District; Charles Koren, in his official capacity as Superintendent of the Homer-Center School District; Robert Pleis, in his official capacity as the Superintendent of the Twin Valley School District; and Joe Mancini, in his official capacity as the Superintendent of the Ellwood City Area School District

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. 

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Case Status

Plaintiffs appealed their case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.