Compulsory union funding under threat to US and UK

In the UK, the Conservative Government is changing the law so that workers are no longer forced to fund the Labour Party through .

And USA Today reports on a related US Supreme Court case:

The Supreme Court left little doubt Monday where it stands on forcing teachers and government workers to contribute to public employee unions against their will: It’s ready to strike the requirement down.

The court’s more conservative justices sharply criticized the current system in which public employees in 23 states and the District of Columbia must pay for the cost of collective bargaining, even if they disagree with their unions’ demands. The problem, those justices said, is that virtually everything the unions do affects public policy and tax dollars.

Unions are major political players. The unions are so strong in the US that almost every Democratic candidate has to oppose trade agreements, or risk union funds being spent against them.

Hence they should not get compulsory funding from workers. They should only get funding from people who wish to join them, as is the case in NZ.

But Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Californian who led much of the criticism of the mandatory union fees, said teachers challenging the requirement disagree with union positions on issues such as tenure, merit pay and class sizes. “The union basically is making these teachers ‘compelled riders,'” he said.

Awful to be forced to fund an organisation so it can advocate for policies you strongly disagree with. Imagine for example being a gay man forced to fund a church that preaches homosexuality is wrong – well that’s how conservatives feel when forced to fund unions.

The 325,000-member teachers union, which spends more on politics than any special interest group in the state

The biggest money in politics is often from unions – certainly in NZ. Look at registered third party campaigners – almost all unions.

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