A group of California teachers is preparing for a Supreme Court battle to overturn forced union dues in a groundbreaking lawsuit filed in June.
For nearly three decades, the Supreme Court has allowed closed-shop unionism, in which public employees must pay dues to labor groups handling collective bargaining negotiations.
The Supreme Court established Beck Rights in 1988 allowing workers to opt out of union dues for political activities, while continuing to pay for union negotiating expenses. The teachers are hoping to take that battle one step further by putting an end to all coercive union dues.
Ten California schoolteachers are challenging California's policy of forcing all public employees to pay union dues for collective bargaining. The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) is aiding their suit. The CIR views the issue through the lens of the Constitution, rather than as a contest of labor policy.
"Our efforts are not anti-union; we are trying to solidify the First Amendment rights of public employees to freely assemble," CIR president Terry Pell said.
The plaintiffs filed a preliminary injunction on Tuesday asking the court to waive the teachers' union dues during the ongoing trial. Pell is certain the motion will fail, which is all the better for the plaintiffs because it will "fast-track" the litigation to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and eventually the Supreme Court.