Teachers are Free to Choose, Not Free-Riders
The United States Supreme Court recently overturned an outdated law that allowed public sector unions to withdraw fees from employees, even if they choose to refrain from union membership. Since this historical ruling, we have heard union officials calling these independent teachers free-riders, since they no longer have to fund an organization they don’t agree with.
The use of this “free-rider” label is an attack on the hard-working professionals who have the intellect to determine if union membership is a right fit for them. This name calling is a bullying tactic meant to intimidate teachers into funding an organization they are not comfortable with.
In the 25 years the Keystone Teachers Association has been serving educators, we have determined that there are actually many reasons why these teachers have chosen to abstain from union membership, and attempting to get something for nothing is not one of them. For example, teachers may not want to financially support the union because they disagree with their politics and political endorsements, which is one of the main tenets of the Janus ruling. Or, an educator may not have been adequately supported by the union even though they were paying for such services. Sometimes the bargained contract did not positively serve the educator. Some also feel that the cost was too high for the service provided.
Non-union teachers are free-thinkers, not free-riders, and listed above are just a few examples of why they may decide to not join the union. Now, thanks to Janis, they won’t have fund them through forced fees and the unions will have to provide a service that is worthy of their payment.
The Keystone Teachers Association, established in 1993, applauds the U.S. Supreme Court for finally restoring educators’ First Amendment rights and their freedom of choice.