Ohio Teacher Sues National Education Association, Union for Pro-Abortion Dues
by Steven Ertelt
December 4, 2008
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — An Ohio teacher has filed suit against two teacher’s unions over the fact that her compulsory union dues are used to promote abortion. Kathy Hart, a fourth grade teacher from the Coldwater Exempted Village School District filed the lawsuit in federal court.
Hart sued the states largest teacher union for forcing her to pay compulsory union fees to fund the union whose activities violate her religious faith.
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys are providing Hart with free legal aid and filed the suit this week in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
Hart, an active member of the Catholic Church, has been a teacher in the Ohio public school system since August 1996.
Because the public school she works in is unionized, she works under a collective bargaining agreement which forces her to pay compulsory union fees to the National Education Association (NEA) union and its state and local affiliates – the Ohio Education Association (OEA) union and the Coldwater Teachers Organization (CTO) union.
Due to her Catholic faith, Hart doesn’t like to pay the fees because the NEA takes a pro-abortion position and the unions support pro-abortion political candidates.
Hart had asked that the union divert her compulsory fees to a charity, thereby accommodating her religious objections to supporting financially unions she believes to be involved in immoral activities.
NEA union officials agreed to allow Hart to redirect her compulsory union dues to a mutually agreed upon charity. However, OEA officials refused to accommodate Hart and used the CTO to collect forced union dues from her paycheck.
In response, Hart filed suit alleging that the union officials actions were religious discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission authorized Hart in September to proceed with her own civil action against the OEA and CTO.
OEA union bosses have a long and abusive record of violating employees rights by refusing to accommodate religious objectors in the workplace," National Right to Work Foundation vice president Stefan Gleason told LifeNews.com.
Gleason says the dues issues are another reason his group supports Right to Work laws allowing employees to refrain from supporting unions and their political agendas.
Hart’s case follows a case involving another Ohio teacher who won a federal district court ruling saying that requiring her to pay dues to the National Education Association is a violation of her First Amendment Rights.
Carol Katter sued to stop being forced to fund the organization because her money would be used to promote abortion.
The Ohio affiliate of the national group told Katter she could only be exempt from paying union dues if she changed religions.
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