The local only union option continues to attract interest. Teachers in a northern Michigan school district recently voted two to one to break away from the state and national union and form their own independent bargaining organization. As reported by a local TV news affiliate, the president of the new Roscommon Teachers Association explained why so many of his colleagues took this unusual step:
“We’ve exercised the death penalty. We’re exercising our right to say, we’re your customer and we’re not buying you stuff anymore. I hope that’s the message they get,” said interim RTA president James Perialas.
One of this website’s main themes is to celebrate — and to advertise — the various membership options available to Colorado teachers. In that spirit, the Association of American Educators and Choice Media TV have released the new 15-minute video Teacher’s Choice. This worthwhile, uplifting view profiles four teachers from different types of schools in different parts of the country and offers up a powerful message about how educational choice benefits professional instructors:
Results of New Poll Confirm Need for Non-Union Teacher Organizations
Alexandria, VA — A survey released last week by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup indicates that Americans overwhelming support teachers, but not teachers’ unions. Among the survey results 71% of respondents said that they have trust and confidence in America’s teachers. However, when asked about the teacher unions, 47% say they believe the unions have hurt education, compared to only 26% believing the unions have helped education. While the findings are nothing new to the growing number of teachers disenfranchised with their unions, it appears that the public has begun to draw a distinction between teachers, as individual professionals, and the actions of the teachers unions.
AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner commented on the national poll today, releasing the following statement: Read more…
August has arrived — which not only means that the new school year for most Colorado students lies just around the corner, but also opens a short window of time for many Colorado teachers to make important decisions.
Teachers and other education employees in Colorado of course have a variety of professional and union membership options from which to choose. Many of those options allow teachers to join or to drop out throughout the year. But in some cases, the only time they can revoke membership is during a short window.
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.
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?
Denver Public Schools (DPS) teachers and other education employees may join the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) or any other membership organization at any time. However, employees who currently have membership dues deducted to the DCTA (and by extension, CEA and NEA) may only cancel the automatic deductionbetween November 1 and November 15.
At any time, employees in the bargaining unit wishing to become members of the Association may authorize such deduction by filing with the District through the office of the Association, a signed and dated Denver Classroom Teachers Association Salary Deduction Authorization Form authorizing the District to deduct from their monthly earnings and to remit to the Treasurer of the Association, an amount equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of the dues required for membership in the organization or organizations specified in Article 23-2 above.
Such form shall include a waiver of all right and claim against the Board, the District, and the officers and agents thereof, for moneys deducted and remitted in accordance with said authorization; and an agreement that such deductions and remittances shall continue from year to year, as so authorized, unless teachers notify the District through the Association office and on an appropriate form, that they desire to discontinue or to change such authorization. It will be possible to revoke the dues deductions only during November 1 through November 15 of each school year. Only Association revocation forms will be honored by the District. Once a revocation form has been signed and properly processed, no further action is necessary on the part of the employee to terminate deduction of the membership dues. [emphasis added]
Denver teachers and other employees who wish to sign up or to revoke membership may obtain the appropriate form by contacting DCTA at:
The one-stop informational home for Colorado educators who want to know their options is back in business. Here’s a quick tour of what the site has to offer, with more updates and improvements slated to come:
About This Site introduces readers to why Independent Teachers was created, and some responses from teachers who appreciate the unique informational service
Membership Options gives Colorado teachers a thorough listing of the different unions, professional organizations, and other insurance options available – encouraging teachers to make the most informed choice they can
Revoking Membership provides details on when and how teachers can opt out of organizations to which they no longer wish to belong – in some cases, they have only two weeks out of the year to make this decision
Political Refunds tells teachers who belong to the organizations that give their money to political campaigns how they can get it back, including the different Every Member Option refunds and their deadlines