National education and labor news

California lawsuit targets teachers union’s funding

The right-wing group behind the anti-union Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association lawsuit has filed a nearly identical lawsuit in hopes of reaching a different result once a Supreme Court justice appointed by President Trump is seated.

The new lawsuit filed by the Center for Individual Rights has the same aim as the Friedrichs case had: to end the California Teachers Association’s right to collect agency fees from teachers in the state who are not union members but receive union services. 

CTA President Eric C. Heins said the lawsuit was an attempt “to weaken all unions and the voice of working people. It’s a political attack.”

The new litigation, Yohn vs. the California Teachers Association, could have national ramifications if the case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court. Though Friedrichs failed in 2015 when the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 after the death of Antonin Scalia, this case would likely face nine justices, including a Trump appointee. Though Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee, has never ruled in a case like Yohn vs. CTA, he is considered unlikely to side with teachers or their union.

A Supreme Court ruling against agency fees would eliminate a key source of funding for unions in 23 states, including New York.

Los Angeles Times, Feb. 7

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