Four Orange County teachers are among a group of educators going before the United States Supreme Court on Monday to argue that laws requiring public-sector employees help pay for collective bargaining, even if they are not union members, are unconstitutional.
The case – Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association – hinges on whether a California “fair share” law, which forces non-union employees to pay a portion of dues to fund labor negotiations, violates the free-speech rights of teachers who may disagree with unions on collective bargaining issues.
A key point in the oral arguments, both sides said in press conferences Thursday, is whether collective bargaining is inherently political, which would make union dues a form of political speech. If so, the Supreme Court could rule that the First Amendment prohibits states from compelling teachers to pay.
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