National Employee Advocate Files Emergency Arguments to Halt Union Attack on California Public Servants’ Rights
Sacramento, CA (March 2, 2005) – National Right to Work Foundation attorneys filed urgent formal comments with the California Public Employees Relations Board (PERB), calling on them to reject union lawyer’s arguments that would gut current regulations intended to protect employee rights against compulsory union dues.
The process originated when California Teachers Association (CTA) union officials, with the endorsement of numerous other powerful unions, suddenly proposed that the PERB eliminate most regulations that clearly define employees’ few remaining rights against compulsory union abuse.
The regulations were enacted by PERB in the 1980s to uphold the rights of teachers recognized by the Supreme Court in Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, a case won by Foundation attorneys. CTA union officials in their “revisions” proposed to completely gut sections that require union officials to inform teachers of their Hudson due process rights to financial disclosure and to give notice of the right to object to union dues spent for non-collective bargaining activities, such as politics.
“Union officials want to eliminate access to the few constitutional protections teachers have in California against compulsory unionism abuse,” said Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason. “Rather than looking after the rights of the teachers they supposedly represent, union officials are simply trying to push through self-serving regulations.”
In their formal comments, Foundation attorneys point out that gutting the PERB regulations would “leave employees in the dark” about how to challenge union officials’ claims. One of the changes would force employees to first use their union’s stacked internal procedures to challenge the amount of the fees, a process that is heavily slanted to favor the union officials’ demand for higher dues. The changes would also eliminate compliance procedures which make violating agency fee regulations an unfair labor practice, and delete provisions that mandate chargeable fees be calculated by an independent audit of union expenditures.
Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as articulated in the Foundation-won Supreme Court decision in Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, union officials must provide audited disclosure of their books and justify expenditures made from forced union dues seized from teachers who have chosen to refrain from union membership.
PERB officials have scheduled a hearing about the proposed regulations for March 3, 2005 in Sacramento.