Teachers Union Lawsuit

Attorney Harmeet Dhillon speaks during a news conference in San Francisco. Five California educators filed a lawsuit Monday, seeking to stop the state's top teachers union from collecting dues through mandatory paycheck deductions, the latest in a series of similar legal challenges filed across the country. The California teacher's lawyer Dhillon alleges that the paycheck deduction made over the educators' objections violates their First Amendment rights of speech and association.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Five California ed­u­ca­tors on Monday filed a law­suit seeking to stop the state’s top teachers union from collecting dues through mandatory paycheck deductions, the latest in a series of similar legal challenges filed across the country.

The lawsuit challenging the California Teachers As­so­ciation’s mandatory col­lec­tion of dues follows a U.S. Supreme Court ru­ling on June 27 barring the practice in the public sector.

“These dues are a neg­a­tive financial impact to a lot of teachers who live in the Bay Area where there is a high cost of living,” said Bethany Mendez, one of the plaintiffs and a spe­cial education teacher at the Fremont Unified School District. Mendez said she pays $1,500 per year in union dues.

The teachers are rep­re­sent­ed by San Francisco law­yer Harmeet Dhillon and the Freedom Foun­da­tion, an Olympia, Wash­ington-based po­litically con­ser­vative think tank. The Freedom Foundation has represented teachers suing unions in several states.

About 70% of the nation’s 3.8 million public school teachers belong to a union, according to the National Cen­ter for Education Stat­is­tics. Teacher unions across the country have been bracing for litigation since the high court ruled 5-4 that requiring dues pay­ments forces public sector workers to endorse po­litical messages that they may be counter to their beliefs.

“This is just another law­suit from the Freedom Foun­dation to continue the at­tack on public education and public employees,” California Teacher Asso­ci­ation spokeswoman Claudia Briggs said.

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