By Meg Tully | MarylandReporter.com
Maryland teachers would be required to pay union fees even if they are not union members under legislation expected to be introduced this session on behalf of the state teachers union.
The “fair share” fee is a top priority of the Maryland State Education Association, which represents about 70,000 people or 80% of school employees.
Union spokesman Adam Mendelson said the fee, at about 68% of current union dues, is intended to make sure everyone contributes to the cost of contract negotiations, from which all employees benefit. In addition, state law requires that the union provide representation for all educators who want to resolve a grievance, whether they are union members or not.
The fee would pay for such services and could not go toward the cost of political activities, he said.
The idea doesn’t sit well with some lawmakers.
“It’s a forced tax on those who choose to teach,” Sen. David Brinkley, a Republican who represents Frederick and Carroll counties, said.