Some educators will be refunded dues or fees by Ohio's largest teachers union under a settlement of a federal lawsuit alleging the money was improperly used for politics-related activities.
A group of teachers who weren't full dues-paying members sued the Ohio Education Association in 2011 over fees taken from their pay to cover bargaining expenses. With free legal help from the National Right to Work Foundation, they argued the money improperly supported lobbying and political activity in violation of free speech rights. The foundation says more than 2,000 teachers will get payments under the class-action settlement approved this week, with the total estimated at $90,000 to $100,000. OEA's executive director says the settlement avoids further legal fees. She emphasizes the court didn't rule on claims raised in the case.