August 13, 2014 by Penny Starr
Teachers who left labor unions connected with their jobs said on Tuesday that they felt “bullied” for their opposition to compulsory membership and payment of dues that funded political activities.
“We literally felt like little children being bullied on a playground,” Rebecca Friedrichs, a teacher and former member of the California Teachers Association, said at the event at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Friedrichs, who is also the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the CTA challenging its authority, was one of a panel of two educators and a child care provider that spoke about their experiences with labor unions and their efforts to help others who want to end their union membership.
Although she was opposed to CTA’s political activities, Friedrichs said she decided to become a member so she would “have a voice.” However, her efforts to question the union’s policies were rebuked, she said, including while at a CTA conference where she and another member expressed their concerns publicly.
“I continually brought up the fact that many of my colleagues and I were disturbed and offended that our forced dues were being used toward politics and highly political collective bargaining that were against our moral codes and our fiscal sensibilities,” Friedrichs said.
“On every occasion we were answered with hateful tones – rhetoric that made it very clear to everyone in the room that if you did not stand with union politics you were a bigot,” Friedrichs said. “And on every occasion, the entire room fell silent because of the extreme intimidation of the higher union officials.
“We literally felt like little children being bullied on a playground,” Friedrichs said.
full article with video: Teacher on Unions: ‘Felt Like Little Children Being Bullied on a Playground’
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