Del. Sheila Hixson, D-Montgomery County, will introduce a bill on behalf of the Maryland State Education Association to require nonunion educators to pay a so-called fair share fee to unions equivalent to about 68 percent of the local dues.
Under Maryland law, local teachers unions are required to negotiate contracts that cover all educators, whether or not they are members of the union. They also must represent nonunion educators in grievances.
Association spokesman Adam Mendelson said the bill wouldn’t force people to join the union, just require them to help pay for the union benefits they receive.
“All school employees benefit from those services, but there’s not a companion or complementary law for fair share that requires all employees to contribute to those benefits they enjoy,” Mendelson said.
Ten local school boards already require nonunion educators to pay union fees: Montgomery, Prince George’s, Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Charles, Garrett and Howard counties, as well as Baltimore City. Those jurisdictions pay the fee to local, state and national unions.
Mendelson said educators who are already covered under a fair share agreement will continue to pay their current fees and would not have to pay twice. (read more)