John Thompson just used one of his weekly posting slots on Alexander Russo’s This Week in Education blog to take on my issue with teachers auto deducting dues.
Here is my response:
I think that teachers are quite capable of paying their own union dues at their own will. Other states like MI have laws allowing that and look at all the ways that the MI unions handle those situations.
Then there is a CBA fee issue. Unions claim there is a free-rider problem. A free-rider problem? Because workers benefit from the union’s contract negotiations and don’t have to pay. Someone PLEASE enlighten me about how the “collective bargaining fee” is calculated. If you are negotiating on behalf of 100 or 10,000 teachers do you really do more work? Free-rider problem, what a bunch of absolute baloney!
Honestly, I think teacher can and should negotiate their own salaries.
John says I don’t know contract law? Yes I understand there are laws – but that does not make them right!
Notice John didn’t support the assertion that teachers should have their dues auto deducted. He didn’t make a case for why unions should have direct access to the money hose. It’s just all semantics.
The point is that unions have very easy access to money that they spend frivolously on $500,000+ union head payrolls and 600 positions paid at in the six figures. Most teachers can’t get near a 6 six figure salary. Then there is the question about how the unions use that money for political purposes of which teachers may not agree. Unions take stances that teachers paying the dues may disagree with. But there is little way out of the dues.
Rebecca Friedrichs, the case’s lead plaintiff, says she decided to take legal action because she felt she had no other options and was “very seriously considering” leaving teaching. A teacher for more than 25 years, Friedrichs says she has opted out of paying a politically directed portion of union dues for most of her career. She became a full member for several years to try to affect change from the inside while serving as a union representative.
“They didn’t want to hear what I had to say,” Friedrichs says. “It just came to the point where I felt totally helpless and hopeless.”
In California, teachers can opt out of paying the roughly 30 to 40 percent of dues devoted to political lobbying, but they can’t opt out of dues used for collective bargaining issues. In total, California teachers pay as much as $1,000 annually in union dues, the plaintiffs say. They also argue it’s particularly difficult to opt out of paying the politically directed dues because they must first pay the dues and then apply for a refund each year. Many teachers, they say, contribute hundreds of dollars to political activities they disagree with because the opt-out process is too complex.
John T. knows this is about teachers union money and NOT about what teacher care about. I wonder what payroll John T. is on.