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In response to Bill Prestridge’s letter (Rebecca Friedrichs’ Assertions Mislead Union Debate) in the Feb. 4-10 edition of the San Clemente Times, Mr. Prestridge completely misses the point of the Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association when he falsely states, “This case is about the conservative effort to destroy collective bargaining and union representation.” In truth, it is about individual teachers who object to subsidizing the union’s positions on issues they fervently disagree with. I, too, was a teacher in the Capistrano Unified School District for many years, knowing that my compelled dues—about $1,000 a year—were funding a union that is implacable to any change in the status quo, even if it benefits students.
Another false claim—that only a portion of teachers’ compulsory dues supports political action—ignores the reality that “everything that is collectively bargained with the government is within the political sphere,” as stated by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia during last month’s Supreme Court hearing. Since taxpayers fund the results of collective bargaining, all negotiations with public employee unions are political. So I beg to differ with Mr. Prestridge. As long as teachers are forced by contract to pay for the union’s free speech, it follows that Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is all about the First Amendment.