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.
The National Education Association has the larger educator membership presence in Colorado. But among the state’s AFT teachers, the largest concentration by far can be found in conservative Douglas County, the state’s third-largest school district. Interesting then to see some of AFT’s contributions, as reported by Antonucci: Read more…
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:
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):
Pikes Peak ($6) (Pikes Peak EA includes Academy 20, Calhan, Canon City, Cheyenne Mountain, Cripple Creek, Ellicott, Falcon 49, Fremont Re-2, Fountain-Fort Carson 8, Hanover 28, Harrison 2, Lewis-Palmer 38, Manitou Springs 14, Miami-Yoder 60JT, Peyton 23, Widefield 3 and Woodland Park Re-2)
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.
But today also marks the beginning of the short time frame in which union members in several school districts can choose to opt out of a year’s worth of union dues (and in a few cases — as our recent video about Colorado teachers unions pointed out — for non-union members to opt out of paying hundreds of dollars in union fees).
Speaking of the video, here it is for those who haven’t seen it before:
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…
Teachers and other education employees who belong to a union affiliated with the Colorado Education Association automatically contribute a portion of their dues to the NEA headquarters in Washington, D.C. ($166 per full-time member in 2010-11). As the Education Intelligence Agency reports in the latest edition of the Communique, it looks like that figure is going up again for the coming school year:
Beginning this year, NEA will collect a $20 special assessment from each active (meaning, working) member – up from $10 in previous years. In accordance with the union’s bylaws, only 60 percent of the roughly $40 million raised is directed to the [Ballot Measures/Legislative Crises] fund. The other 40 percent goes into the union’s Media Campaign Fund.
Though mutually supportive, the Media Campaign Fund money is disbursed to NEA state affiliates through a separate application process from the BMLC fund. However, while almost all of the BMLC fund is sent to state affiliates, only 20 percent of the Media Campaign Fund leaves Washington, DC. The remainder is kept by NEA for national media projects, as well as distribution to a handful of media partners.
Unless NEA is cutting back its dues appropriations to other areas — highly unlikely — that means at least a $10 increase for teachers this year. As the Communique reports, some of that money goes to Media Matters for America, which describes itself as a:
progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
Do Colorado teachers believe that is the best use of their dues money — which for many CEA/NEA members totals more than $750 a year?
Most teachers union members in Colorado are affiliated with the National Education Association, but a smaller (though significant) number belong to the American Federation of Teachers. Some of that AFT dues money goes to national headquarters. How is some of that money spent?