Though some teachers may not realize it, Maryland’s laws infringe on their freedoms, place the interests of unions over individual teachers and restrict the ability of teachers to become entrepreneurs.
Teachers ought to have the right to be represented by a union. But they should also have the right to not be represented. Maryland forces teachers to be represented by unions, which violates teachers’ rights and has negative consequences for teachers and students.
There is an important distinction between being “represented” by a union and being a “member” of a union. Maryland law – like that in many other states – does not require that teachers be members of a union, but it does require them to be represented. This means that individual teachers are not permitted to negotiate their own salaries, benefits and working conditions, even if they want to. Forbidding workers from negotiating on their own behalf and requiring that a third party be involved serves no public purpose, but it does benefit unions.