Commentary: Forced Union Fees Do Not Have to Go to the Union — You Have Other Options

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The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled that state employees cannot be required to pay dues to a union or risk being fired. This is but the most recent victory for worker freedom. In the past three years, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin have enacted right to work laws, which free workers from paying dues to a union they do not support, and likely never voted for.

Today, there are 25 right to work states in the nation. But even in states where workers lack right to work protections, there are options available to workers who want to lessen or completely end their financial support to an organization that does not share their values.

A Pennsylvania teacher is suing her union for retaliating against workers who choose to become conscientious objectors. Linda Misja a teacher at Apollo-Ridge High School, near Pittsburgh, has had to accept the unwanted representation of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) for years. Misja objects to paying dues on religious grounds. Legally, she is protected from paying dues to the PSEA and can redirect her funds to a non-profit.

Yet, the PSEA, for political reasons, did not like the charities Misja chose and a three-plus year battle ensues over where her dues will go. In a July 2015 interview, Misja said, “I was turned down because they [PSEA] said People Concerned for the Unborn Child was not in line with their policies or their beliefs. They Proposed Planned Parenthood, a group that is the reason I have my religious objection in the first place.”