Sacramento, California (September 22, 2005) – A group of California teachers and professors today filed a statewide class-action lawsuit in federal court against the state’s largest teacher and faculty unions seeking to bar union officials from forcing more than 350,000 California educators to pay significant dues increases earmarked for political electioneering during this year’s special election.
Filed by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, the civil rights suit seeks to enjoin the use or further collection of a $60-per-teacher mandatory dues increase imposed by California Teacher Association (CTA) union officials and a 10 percent mandatory dues increase imposed by California Faculty Association (CFA) officials that are earmarked for efforts to defeat Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ballot propositions.
Since September 1, CTA union officials have written checks to several campaign committees totaling $23 million from a loan that is secured by guarantees of higher compulsory dues paid by educators as a job condition. Earlier in the summer, CTA officials announced another $22 million in expenditures.
Like many public servants, the six named plaintiffs object to paying for union political activities with which they disagree, so they asked the Foundation for free legal assistance. They seek an order certifying their suit as a class action for all CTA members and nonmembers, and all CFA nonmembers. The educators also ask for an injunction to block the use or further collection of the special dues increase and an order that every teacher and professor be given notice and allowed to obtain a refund, plus interest.