Ask First Better, But Every Member Option Gives Glimmer of Employee Freedom

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Political Refunds

June 24-28 has been designated the first-ever National Employee Freedom Week. “National Employee Freedom Week is a national effort to inform union employees of the freedom they have regarding opting out of union membership and making the decision about union membership that’s best for them.” The Independence Institute is one of more than 40 organizations across the United States to join in celebrating the occasion. The following post is part of a series highlighting the issue’s impact in Colorado.

When it comes to exercising employee freedom, many Colorado teachers may opt to stay part of the union. But they may not approve of all aspects of what the union does with their money. That’s why the Education Policy Center every year informs educators across the state about the Colorado Education Association’s December 15 deadline to get back the portion of their dues collected to fund local and state political candidates and causes. Read more…

Did You Receive a Postcard About Every Member Option? December 15 Deadline Approaching

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Political Refunds

Updated for 2013

Did you receive a postcard like this in the mail? Click on the image for all the information and links you will need to request one or more Every Member Option (EMO) political refunds from the Colorado Education Association and its local affiliates:

You can also watch the 1-minute animated video on the EMO that may bring back a bit of nostalgia:

Related stories:
Teachers union offices need to improve information on member political dues (October 2012)
Teachers’ money taken to fund nasty political ads (November 2012)

Colo. Teachers Union Members Automatically Funding False, Malicious Political Ads

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Political Contributions

Many Colorado teachers may be unknowingly funding a political group under government investigation and private legal complaint for creating multiple “negative ads were filled with outrageous and unfounded claims.”

An article by Colorado Media Trackers highlights the detestable activities of the 527 group Colorado Accountable Government Alliance (CAGA). The Colorado Education Association’s small donor “Public Education Committee” this year has made two separate $50,000 contributions (July 10 and August 2) to CAGA.

Nonpartisan state house candidate Kathleen Curry, the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, has been falsely attacked by CAGA as opposing insurance coverage for mammograms. Summit County officials have opened an ethics violation investigation in this case. Read more…

December 15 Deadline Approaching for Colorado Teachers Union Political Refunds

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Political Refunds

Update, 12/15: The CEA website was offline for awhile today. If you can’t access the electronic form, please send an email to Linda Lutz (llutz@coloradoea.org) with a note that you are requesting the $39 Every Member Option refund.

December 15 marks the annual deadline for Colorado Education Association members to request a refund of “Every Member Option” union funds used to support state and local political campaigns. Last year’s attention-getting 45-second video is worth watching to find out the information, or just for the nostalgic refresher:

In addition to the $39 EMO available from CEA — which can be requested electronically or by old-fashioned mail — a number of other districts have additional EMO political refund options with additional opt-out requirements. To learn all the specifics click on any of the following districts that require refunds on or shortly after December 15 (with the amount available):

If you are a Colorado public school teacher, or know one, please feel free to share this post and the video. You could be making a difference and giving someone another reason to give thanks during this special holiday season.

December 15 Deadline for CEA Member Political Refund Requests: New Animated Video!

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Political Refunds

Go directly here for more information about Colorado teachers union political refunds.

Here is a two-minute video explanation of CEA’s Every Member Option political refund, from a veteran Jefferson County teacher, produced in 2008:

Go here to see a summary breakdown of how Colorado teachers unions reported spending member dues on political activities during the most recent election.

Video: Unions Abuse Non-Union Teacher Paychecks

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Membership Revocations

Check out this new Independent Teachers video about what happens when a non-union school employee who is forced to opt out of paying union fees every year misses the deadline because of family medical emergencies:

From the YouTube summary:

Due to family medical hardships, non-union Pueblo school employee Becky Robertson missed an annual deadline to opt out of union fee paycheck deductions. The union rejected her appeal. Though she had chosen not to be a union member, Becky ended up paying the union hundreds of dollars that could have been used for medical bills and other expenses. Why do Colorado laws allow this type of abuse to continue?

Which Colorado school district employees are affected by union fee opt-out policies for non-union members? Read more…

About the Postcard or Email Message You Received: Political Refunds from CEA & (maybe) Your Local

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Political Refunds

Did you receive a postcard like this one in the mail (or maybe an email with information on the Colorado Education Association’s $39 Every Member Option political refund)?

Click on the postcard for more information about requesting one or more refunds before the December 15 deadline.

OR Watch this 2-minute video explanation by a Jefferson County teacher:

OR Listen to an overview of the Every Member Option and some frequently asked questions on a 3-minute podcast by clicking the play button below (if you can’t see the player, or it doesn’t work, click here to listen):

Please visit our “Political Refunds” page for the detailed information on when and how to submit a request. For information on related topics, please check out the links on the left sidebar.

This information is provided by the Independence Institute as a public service.

Union Dues

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: American Federation of Teachers Colorado, Colorado Education Association, Uncategorized

The annual cost of full-time membership in the teachers union depends on the school district in which you work. For 2008-09, each full-time member pays $363 to the Colorado Education Association and $158 to the National Education Association headquarters. The local portion of union dues vary by location. Here is a sample of the TOTAL dues costs for 2008-09:

  • Westminster (Adams 50): $812
  • Aurora: $735
  • Littleton: $726
  • Jefferson County: $725
  • Lewis Palmer: $712
  • Canon City: $708
  • Academy 20: $707

By comparison, members of the Douglas County Federation of Teachers (Colorado’s largest local affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers) pay $431 in dues for 2008-09.

Annual membership to join the Professional Association of Colorado Educators is $180.

Annual membership to join Christian Educators Association International is $139.

Ed News Colorado Highlights Teachers Union Political Contributions, Member Refunds

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Political Contributions

The Independent Teachers website is not the only place keeping tabs on political contributions made with the professional dues money of Colorado public educators. This week, Ed News Colorado ran a great story by Nancy Mitchell documenting the recent history of campaign-related giving by the Colorado Education Association and its affiliates:

The CEA and its local unions gave more than $600,000 directly to state legislative candidates over the five years, often piling on in tight races. Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, the chair of the Senate Education Committee and one of the top recipients of teachers’ union donations, hit the contribution limit from the statewide CEA and from each of the Denver, Fort Collins and Jefferson County unions in his hard-fought 2004 election victory….

Read more…

Colorado Education Association Members: Do You Know How Your Dues Money Is Being Spent?

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Colorado Education Association, Membership Options

Attention, Colorado teachers and other public education employees: Do you belong as a member (or as a non-member fee-payer) to the Colorado Education Association? If so, how much do you know about how your dues money is used? It’s a good question, isn’t it? If you went to the CEA office, or your local union office, and asked to see the financial records from the most recent fiscal year, what would you find out?

Part of your dues money goes directly to the National Education Association ($158 for full-time members in 2008-09). You can learn about the NEA’s revenues and expenditures by going to this official U.S. Department of Labor site, typing 000-342 in the File Number box at the top, and clicking “Submit”.

But $363 of full-time union members’ money goes to CEA. And you know what? CEA is exempt from the requirement to file the Labor Department disclosure. So is your local association and your local UniServ office – where anywhere from another $175 to $290 per year in full-time dues goes.

To dig a little deeper into this issue, please read the new report Setting the Standard for Pro-Worker Transparency (PDF). And take a listen to this 10-minute iVoices podcast interview with the paper’s author Ben DeGrow:

So have you gone down to the CEA or local union office to ask to take a look at the books? If so, what did you find out? Wouldn’t it be easier to see an annual report filed online with a Colorado state agency – something like the reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor?