I wrote in this previous post that I feel teacher union membership and dues should be voluntary and that the auto-deduction of union dues from teacher salaries gives me the perception that the district is paying the union to negotiate contracts.
I also find it unfair that even when teachers opt out of union membership, they still are forced to pay through auto-deduction the near equivalent of union dues 60-70% of the whole dues as an “agency fee” for the collective bargaining services.
John Thompson references me in one of this TWIE posts and claims that I don’t know contract law and claims that I am only targeting teachers unions over political issues.
Paynich is unaware of both contract law and the ways that police, firefighters, and others negotiate common sense arrangements for collecting dues for unions and professional organizations. She incorrectly claims that, “Every other entity on the planet has to collect monies on their own, and unions should not get the unfair advantage of ease of payment.”
Paynich inexplicably writes, “I see it as taxpayer dollars going directly into the hands of unions with little or no say or control from the teachers unions are supposed to be protecting.” According to her reality-free appraisal of these contracts, “This seems like the LEA is paying the union to negotiate the contract with the LEA.”
Thompson claims that I’m singling out teachers unions. Maybe right now, but only because I haven’t had reason yet to analyze the others. Here is the beginnings of evaluation of fire services in RI, my home state, where there appears to be gross overages of equipment and personnel along with up side down pension liabilities.
And while I was looking at the Lawrence teachers contract for this post, I found this language:
PAYMENT OF DUES AND COPE
The Union may secure authorization of payroll deductions for Union dues. Such authorization may be receivable as provided by law. The Union may also secure authorization of payroll deductions for a union COPE (Committee on Political Education) fund. In both instances, the Committee will request the Treasurer of the City of Lawrence to submit such sums in total to the Union Treasurer.
PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS FOR AGENCY SERVICE FEE
As a condition of employment, members of the bargaining unit who are not members in good standing of the Lawrence Teachers’ Union, shall pay to the Lawrence Teachers’ Union an agency service fee equal to the amount required to become a member and remain a member in good standing in the Union. Such fee shall be considered commensurate with the cost of collective bargaining and contract administration. This provision is subject to any rules and regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations.
The Committee will request the Treasurer of the City of Lawrence to submit such sums in total to the union treasurer? Sure, there is accounting going on to count it towards each teacher, but it just looks so much like tax payers are quite literally paying the union to negotiate for the teachers. From the perspective of perception, teacher’s aren’t paying these dues. But they should be – voluntarily.