ERIC Number: EJ919355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 11
Limits on Union-Backed Political Speech: "Ysura v. Pocatello Education Association"
Russo, Charles J.
School Business Affairs, v75 n7 p34-36 Jul-Aug 2009
Free speech concerns associated with collective bargaining become important when unions impose fair-share fees that charge nonmembers for costs associated with the benefits they receive through labor negotiations. When unions collect fair-share fees, those payments often support causes with which nonmembers and dissenting members disagree. Although most people agree that unions should have the right to recoup legitimate bargaining expenses, questions arise as to what limits should be placed on the use of those fair-share fees. The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in "Ysura v. Pocatello Education Association" (2009) should be of interest to school business officials and other education leaders who are concerned with labor relations between teachers and their school boards. In "Ysura," the Court placed further restrictions on the ability of unions to spend the fair-share fees of nonmembers by upholding as constitutional a ban on public-employee payroll deductions for political activities at the local level because it furthered Idaho's interest in separating the operation of government from partisan politics. Given the significant role of teachers unions, this column is divided into three parts. The first briefly reviews Supreme Court litigation on fair share-fees, whereas the second examines its recent opinion in "Ysura." The third part reflects on what school business officials and other education leaders can do to mitigate labor conflicts while protecting the free speech rights of nonunion members and dissenters who must pay fair-share fees.
Descriptors: Unions, Teaching (Occupation), School Districts, Collective Bargaining, Fees, Justice, Court Litigation, Labor Relations, Organizations (Groups), School Business Officials, Freedom of Speech, Accountability, Politics of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Idaho