In about half the states, including California, the answer is yes. The argument in these so-called Fair Share states is that the union is required to represent me so I should pay for their representation. In the other half of the states, the Right To Work states, no one is compelled to pay a union as a condition of employment.
I'm not a union member; requiring union membership was ruled unconstitutional years ago, which means there's no such thing as a "closed shop" in this country. I am, however, required to pay a union, even though I don't want or need their services. The argument of the u-bots is this: you get the advantage of everything the union negotiates for you but don't want to pay for it, you're a free rider. My argument is this: I'm not a free rider, I'm a forced rider, and you assume that, given the opportunity, I couldn't negotiate better for myself. In a free market, do you really think a math teacher and a kindergarten teacher would be paid the same? I'm not disparaging the work of kindergarten teachers, not at all, but the laws of supply and demand dictate that I'd be paid more. Unions distort, or destroy, that reality.
One of the reasons I'm a Talker for Walker, a supporter of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for President, was his reining in of public union excesses in Wisconsin, the "home of progressivism". I've held out hope that if it could happen there, it could happen here in crazy California. That's my dream, and that dream is coming one step closer to reality:
A group of public schoolteachers on Monday petitioned the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to laws allowing teachers unions to require dues from nonmembers who disagree with union positions and policies.I hope the Court takes this case.
A decision in the teachers' favor could change how public employee unions operate nationwide.
The lawsuit, first filed in April 2013, takes aim at the 300,000-member California Teachers Association and the affiliated National Education Association. The plaintiffs – 10 California teachers and the Christian Educators Association International – claim California's "agency shop" law is unconstitutional and violates teachers' First Amendment rights by forcing them to pay union dues regardless of whether they support or are a member of the union. Twenty-six states currently have such laws in place...
The plaintiffs' intent, Pell says, isn't to take down unions or attack collective bargaining, but rather to protect the First Amendment rights of teachers.
"The issues here are inherently political issues, and the First Amendment protects the right of individuals to decide for themselves what side of those political questions they’re on," Pell says. "We think the court should give heightened scrutiny to these types of political disputes."