A largely overlooked portion of the Friedrichs lawsuit is its fall-back argument. In the event the U.S. Supreme Court upholds agency fees, the plaintiffs ask that unions be required to get members to opt-in to paying for non-chargeable activities, rather than require fee-payers to opt-out. In other words, the default status of employees in a bargaining unit would be fee-payer.
I don’t know if this flies as a legal argument, but the unions will fight any effort that requires positive action on the part of members to fund their operations. As a general rule, you always want to be in a position to gain if people do nothing, rather than have to urge them to act. It’s the primary reason we have payroll deduction of income taxes.
We can see the effect in real dollars if we take a look at the difference between the collection of contributions for the California Teachers Association’s ABC PAC and that of the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education PAC.