If blogs gave awards, Rebecca Friedrichs ought to be our Person of the Year or win a medal for the courage to take on the California Teachers Association — arguably the most powerful union in California. From two different blogs this week, CA teachers sue union over political use of dues and Jim Lacy’s California Political Review, comes the story that Ms. Friedrichs wishes not to pay about one-third of her annual union dues that supports the CTA’s copious political work.
From the Joseph Perkins post:
Indeed, the kindergarten teacher supports school vouchers, which the teachers’ union has used her compulsory dues (and the dues of political dissenters among its rank-and-file) to defeat. Similarly, she opposes measures — like Proposition 30, the $7 billion tax-increase initiative — for which CTA spent millions in union dues last year to win passage – that confer higher salaries and more generous benefits upon teachers at the expense of everyday taxpayers.
Ms. Friedrichs is being joined by nine other teachers, and is supported by The Center for Individual Rights and Michael A. Carvin, a Jones Day attorney. The suit will also include the CTA’s parent, the National Education Association.
The Plaintiff’s argument is somewhat parallel to Mark Bucher’s and Ed Ring’s Proposition 32 which lost last November due to a massive and $35+ million media blitz by organized labor. As well, Prop. 32 was re-scheduled off the June, 2012 primary election in a despicable move by Governor Brown — moving it to November ensure a better turnout by unionists, get it lost among other Initiatives and squelch the momentum it had been building. It’s the funding for these media efforts and political payoffs that Ms. Friedrichs opposes — she wishes to keep her earnings for herself.
Ms. Friedrich’s suit, and Prop. 32, both seek to reduce union influence by restricting the funds they may take from their membership. Jones Day will contend the CTA makes it overly difficult to “opt out” of these automatic payroll deductions. It is this virtually guaranteed source of union funding (Friedrich’s annual dues was said to be $1,000 — the CTA has 295,000 members per their website) that ends up in the Democrat majority’s campaign accounts and ensures their near perpetual control of the State Senate and Assembly.
The CTA spent millions fighting Prop. 32, and we’d guess they’ll bring out the big guns again to fight Rebecca Friedrichs, her colleagues and Jones Day. A victory for the Plaintiffs would resonate throughout the State and start to unravel the grip the CTA has around its own members’ throats and wallets.
For what it’s worth, this is precisely the sort of local news/opinion that we’d like to see from the new OC Register. Perkins, the author, is the Assistant Editor of their Opinion section. The story was originally posted on CalWatchdog on the 26th, but has yet to be seen in the Register which supported Prop. 32.