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NWPE Members Join Class Action Lawsuit Against Forced Dues
posted by: Cindy Omlin | April 04, 2018, 09:35 PM   


On March 16, the Freedom Foundation, a public policy institute in Washington state, filed a class action lawsuit against one of  the most powerful unions in Washington state, the Washington Education Association (WEA).  The suit seeks to stop compulsory union dues as well as seek to provide repayment of the funds unconstitutionally taken from nonunion teachers.


dave gaston croppedDave Gaston, an NWPE member who teaches in Olympia, WA, is a plaintiff in the case along with NWPE members JoBeth Deibel, Keith Sanborn, and Roger Kinney, among other teachers. 

 

Mr. Gaston was originally pressured into joining WEA but he left the union when he learned about NWPE's focus on nonpartisanship, professionalism and superior benefits.

Mr. Gaston remarks, "I was pressured to join the teachers' union even though it didn't represent my views regarding teaching special education. I quickly recognized the teachers' union supported political candidates and issues that were against my political and religious beliefs. I know many teachers who feel the same way I do, but they are afraid to speak out in fear of repercussions from the union and potentially losing their job. Most recently, there was a political event in Olympia that the Olympia Education Association, through the union president, endorsed. I expressed my concern that the union president was representing his own political viewpoint and never asked union members to vote as to whether they supported the event or not. I received overwhelming support from fellow teachers stating the union wasn't representing their views, either."

The class-action lawsuit seeks a ruling that compelled agency fees are unconstitutional, an injunction barring the government and the WEA from seizing any more funds from union nonmembers, and the repayment of fees unlawfully taken from the plaintiffs and the class members - which could amount to millions of dollars.

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