National Employee Freedom Week Wraps Up: What about Local-Only Option?

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Membership Options

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.

Is it Friday already? Wow, what a National Employee Freedom Week — starting with the news that 3 out of every 8 Colorado union members would quit the union if they could. We’ve spent time this week appreciating the options Colorado teachers currently enjoy, but also noting that opportunities exist to expand those freedoms and cure some injustices. Read more…

Many Non-Union Colorado School Employees Still Must Opt Out Every Year

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Membership Options

June 23-29 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.

With most everyone out of school in the heart of summertime, it seems fitting to take a walk down memory lane. A few years ago my Education Policy Center friends talked to a Pueblo County school librarian named Becky Robertson, who told her story on this video: Read more…

National Employee Freedom Week: 3 in 8 Colorado Union Members Want Out

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Membership Options

June 23-29 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.

What a great day to kick off the first-ever National Employee Freedom Week with a compelling tidbit of information that ought to sink in with Colorado citizens and elected officials. A newly-released national survey identified union member households, and then asked them this pithy question:

If it were possible to opt out of membership in a labor union without losing your job or any other penalty, would you do it?

The survey was able to generate results based on 500 Colorado responses, which I think you might find intriguing: Read more…

Roscommon Teachers Secede from Michigan Education Association, Form Local-Only Union

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

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.

Read more…

Nevada Group Notifies Clark County Teachers of Brief Opt-Out Window, Membership Options

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Membership Options, Membership Revocations

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.

Read more…

Teacher’s Choice Video Celebrates Power of Options for Professional Educators

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Membership Options

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:

New Phi Delta Kappa Poll Makes Case for Teacher Membership Alternatives

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Membership Options, Professional Association of Colorado Educators

Update, 8/23: The new PDK poll isn’t alone in making the case for teacher alternatives. PACE membership director Tim Farmer makes a great case that “professional associations are the future of teaching” today on the Ed News Colorado blog.

The state of American public opinion on teachers and their unions, as reported in the recent Phi Delta Kappa / Gallup poll, suggests a strong value to giving our public educators not only professional membership alternatives (which Colorado law allows) but also the information to help them make wise and suitable choices (one of the main reasons for this website). A new release from the Association of American Educators explains:

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…

Colorado Teacher Membership Opt-Out Periods Coming in August and September

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Membership Options, Membership Revocations

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.

Some of these opt-out periods begin in August, and most end in September. (A few deadlines are in October or November.) In a handful of school districts, employees who never signed up to join a union have to opt out, too. It’s always good to be aware of these deadlines so teachers and others can make the most informed choices about their membership options.

California Teachers Empowerment Network Responds On Air to NEA’s Bob Chanin

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

Remember the National Education Association’s Bob Chanin being a little bit too candid about the union’s priorities? Well, a “sister” group of ours on the West Coast, known as the California Teachers Empowerment Network, has released a new radio ad on KRLA in Los Angeles. Thought you’d like to take a listen to the one-minute spot:

Here’s where you can find the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights report (PDF) cited by CTEN president Larry Sand on the radio ad.

Learn About the Local Only Union Option

Author: bdegrow  //  Category: Membership Options

Please check out a new page posted here on Independent Teachers with information specific to how Colorado teachers can explore adopting the local only union option for their school district.