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Supreme Court Could Hear Second Legal Challenge to Forced Agency Fees Paid by Tens of Thousands of Adjunct Union Members

by Carolyn Phenicie

There also could be a path to revive the basic premise, but not the specific case, from last year’s teacher-union-dues case, Friedrichs v. California. Teacher Rebecca Friedrichs argued that forcing her to pay “fair share” fees to the local teachers union was a First Amendment violation. The court seemed poised to hand down a 5–4 decision in favor of Friedrichs and the other teachers, but Scalia died before the final ruling was issued. The so-called “fair share” fees are still being collected from thousands of adjunct faculty nationwide who choose not, for whatever reason, to join their union local, but who are compelled to pay dues nonetheless. For some adjunct faculty, the decision not to join their unions revolves around allegations of unequal representation, particularly in unified faculty union locals.

AdjunctNation first wrote about Friedrichs v. California in January of 2016. In that piece, P.D. Lesko pointed out that, “In truth, agency fees are imposed on tens of thousands of faculty nationwide, many of them adjuncts. A look at the AAUP’s 2014 LM-2 financial report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor shows that 11,106 of the group’s 49,444 members are agency fee payers. Only

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  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...
  • Freddi-Jo Bruschke: An excellent description of this editorial.