Ohio Teacher Finally Has Say in Where His Union Dues Go

by Jim Brown

(AgapePress)An Ohio history teacher's monthly union fees will no longer be used to help finance the liberal political agenda of the National Education Association's local affiliate.

Two years ago, Daniel Reed asked the Lorain County Teachers Association to honor his rights as a religious objector. Reed felt the union's stance on abortion and homosexuality ran contrary to his Christian beliefs, and thus requested that his union dues be redirected to a charity of his choice. But the teacher's union refused to accommodate Reed.

After the National Right to Work Foundation (nrtw.org) filed a religious discrimination lawsuit on Reed's behalf, the union finally agreed to meet his request. He will now be allowed to redirect his union dues to the Boy Scouts of America, Special Olympics, or the Lions Club.

The Foundation's Dan Cronin says the local NEA realized it was fighting a lost cause.

"I think they saw that the writing was on the wall [and] that their efforts to stonewall [were not going to work]," Cronin says. "They had been denying [Reed] his rights since 2001 [and] had still been taking dues from his paycheck [for two school years]."

Cronin, who says his firm has never lost a case like this, says the union finally recognized it must accommodate Reed and others who refuse to give financial support to its liberal social agenda.

"The word is getting out nationally as to what people's rights are -- and more and more teachers and other workers are learning what their rights are, that they can stand up for them, and that they can win," Cronin says.

"Those are three very important things that, up until recently, a lot of people just didn't know. You can have the greatest rights in the world, but if you don't know what they are and how to exercise them, you can still be trapped in a bad system like Mr. Reed was."

Cronin notes that a provision in the 1964 Civil Rights Act bars union officials from forcing employees to financially support a union if it violates their deeply-held religious beliefs.

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