Teacher Unions Fight to Keep Their Clout in Right-to-Work States

Unionized teachers Kimberly Kunst Domangue and Bernard McPherson  collaborate on 'high need' students. (Photo: Louisiana Association of Educators Facebook)

Proposals to stop state and local governments from deducting union dues from their employees’ paychecks are likely to gain traction in coming months, those on both sides of the issue say.

Such “payroll protection” measures arise as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide next year on a free speech challenge to rules compelling government workers to pay union dues in the first place.

Right now, elected officials allow governments to operate as bill collectors for their union benefactors—even in right-to-work states where union membership isn’t a condition of employment and “agency shop” arrangements don’t apply.

In interviews with The Daily Signal, labor policy analysts, business representatives, and free market proponents said they see the unions operating at an unfair advantage over political opponents.

Even if the Supreme Court strikes down mandatory union dues on constitutional grounds, they predict, teacher unions will remain a potent political force.

That much is evident in Louisiana, where state Sen. Danny Martiny (R-Jefferson) and state Rep. Stuart Bishop (R-Lafayette) have submitted legislation (SB204 and HB418) to put an end to the practice of deducting government union dues from paychecks. Louisiana is one of 25 right-to-work states.

“Calling this legislation payroll protection is fraudulent,” Les …read more