By Claudio Sanchez
Teachers unions are breathing easier after the U.S. Supreme Court, in a deadlocked vote, rejected an effort to restrict public sector unions from collecting fees from nonunion members.
The 4-4 vote, the second such tie since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, lets stand an appeals court decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. As a result, the ability of unions like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers to collect fees from all teachers to subsidize their collective bargaining efforts remains unchanged.
“This case was never about what was best for students,” Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the NEA, said in a teleconference today with reporters. “We’ve used collective bargaining to improve the learning conditions of students, class size, school nurses.”