Behind the Headline: Why the Friedrichs Court Case Will Give Teachers More Power — and Better Pay

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Why the Friedrichs Court Case Will Give Teachers More Power — and Better Pay
The 74 | 9/28/15

Behind the Headline
Teachers Unions At Risk of Losing Agency Fees
Education Next| Winter 2016

In its 2015–16 term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association a case that considers the legality of agency fees, which unions collect from workers who choose not to join them.

In an opinion piece in The 74, Mike Antonucci and Mike Petrilli argue that “If the Court’s decision goes as expected, it will inflict a significant financial blow on teachers unions — while also improving the financial lot of many teachers themselves.”

Antonucci and Petrilli write

collective bargaining does not in fact benefit all workers in a bargaining unit: many individuals make tangible sacrifices under union contracts. Math teachers might make less than they could because the union insists they be paid the same as physical education teachers—even if there is a scarcity of math teachers and a glut of PE teachers. A teacher with seven years of experience makes less than a teacher with 10 years, regardless of relative skills, performance, or any other factor directly related to student learning. A teacher with a bachelor’s degree makes less than a teacher with graduate credits, even if those credits don’t measurably apply to the work they do.

For a deeper analysis of the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case, please read “Teachers Unions At Risk of Losing Agency Fees,” by Mike Antonucci, which will appear in the Winter 2016 issue of Education Next.

– Education Next

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