Heather Lister and Joe Connolly are both Pennsylvania educators, and they couldn’t be more different. Heather is a 25-year-old library media specialist and a registered Democrat. Joe is a veteran high school guidance counselor and a proud conservative.
On the surface, the teachers are poles apart, but there is something they agree on: Lister and Connolly both believe that labor union membership should be voluntary.
You might wonder why that’s such a big deal—don’t teachers already have a choice? The short answer is no.
In the 26 states that are not “right to work,” most public school teachers who decide not to join a union must still pay union fees—whether they want union representation or not. That’s why Commonwealth Foundation is participating in National Employee Freedom Week (August 10-16), a broad grassroots effort to inform teachers and other unionized workers of their labor rights.