YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Settlement Allows State Teachers to Leave Union


Attorneys for a national anti-union group have proclaimed a victory over the California Teachers Assn. after reaching a legal settlement that guarantees teachers the right to leave the union at any time.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation sued the union last year on behalf of a San Diego special education teacher who had become unhappy with the union's political activities.

The teacher, Jean C. Apple, was told that she could not leave the union until her local's multiyear contract with the San Diego Unified School District expired. As a result of the settlement, Apple will receive a refund of about $150, the portion of her dues that paid for activities that were political and not strictly related to collective bargaining.

Under the settlement, reached Tuesday, any teachers who have asked to leave the union since November 1995 can receive a refund retroactive to that date.

Sandra Jackson, a union spokeswoman, said that only three other teachers in the state had asked to quit the union and had been told they had to wait.

Jackson said the dispute with Apple resulted from a misinterpretation of the contract by union officials in San Diego. She said teachers can resign from the union at any time and seek a refund of the portion of their dues that cover outside activities--such as supporting candidates for office or lobbying on behalf of legislation in Sacramento or Washington.

"That's always been the case," Jackson said. "While the Right to Work Foundation is touting this as a major victory, it's not as far as we're concerned."

The union represents about 250,000 California teachers.

Los Angeles Times Articles