Every year the Independence Institute reaches out to Colorado teachers to let them know about their options, particularly the right of union members to receive a rebate of political funds collected along with their dues. This year the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) has followed suit with a notice to teachers in their state’s largest district — Clark County — about a little-known provision that restricts union members’ opportunity to quit the union to the first half of July. As NPRI notes:
From July 1 to 15, most teachers are on vacation and school-related activities are the furthest things from their minds.
While no unions in any Colorado school districts require teachers to wait until the middle of the summer to opt out, many districts have narrow windows of time (and often burdensome procedures) for teachers who wish to exercise their right to get out. And yes, it affects real teachers. Ask Denver’s Ronda Reinhardt, Poudre’s Cally Stockton, or any of the teachers who showed up to testify in favor of House Bill 1333.
Or Nevada teacher Nathan Warner, who penned an op-ed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal explaining why he was going to take advantage of the 15-day window:
There’s one obvious reason for relatively new teachers to not support the union: self-interest. The union does not represent these teachers. It eats its young, demanding raises for senior teachers at the expense of new teachers’ jobs. But the problem is more complex than only the determined pursuits of opposing self-interests. There’s no doubt that this is a losing issue, for teachers, for parents, for students….
Whether or not you like the unions or their non-union membership options, can’t we all agree that professional teachers should be given the respect to decide when they want to join and/or to quit an organization? At least today in Nevada, as in Colorado, educators are better informed about their options.