September 30, 2018 at 6:00 am

It’s Day 7: Last day to opt-out of Education Minnesota under union terms

Good Morning!

Today is the last day that teachers and ESPs in Minnesota can resign according to the terms of the union card. As far as we know, the union will not offer another “window” until 2019 or later.

We have heard from hundreds of teachers. Some of you already have resigned, some of you are still thinking about this new choice.

You can still generate your resignation letter today (it will be dated September 24, 2018) but then the window shuts. 

Educated Teachers thinks it would have been a good idea if your letter had been postmarked and mailed to Education Minnesota before Sunday the 30th but that is not necessary. Not at all. We were just being cautious. We just do not know whether the union will be helpful to teachers who wish to exercise their right to resign.

So what should you do if you are resigning today, Sunday the 30th? Follow the instructions on the opt-out page. You just won’t have your letter postmarked during the window unless you live near one of the post offices that is open on Sunday. But that step is not necessary.

Just be sure to email your opt-out letter to your employer and local union before midnight. And send an email to Education Minnesota via email, too. (All the information you need is on the website opt-out page.)

Why all the steps? The union card (copied below) says to submit the resignation to your school district and local union.

We just think it is smart to let Education Minnesota know by email before Midnight, too. You can drop the letter in the mail on Monday; it is up to you.

We understand that for many educators, this is a big decision. The union has been part of the culture and power-structure for decades. Even if you do not want to pay dues, many of you pay anyway, for a variety of reasons.

There is, however, a lot of misinformation out there. Some of it is intended to scare you into remaining a member, some of it is just honest miscommunication. We understand that this is a very sensitive topic at school. Check out the FAQs we developed with the help of teachers all over the state.

You will not lose your pension or your health care; those are benefits provided by your employer. You will be covered by the same teaching contract and have all the rights union members have. You should buy a new liability policy (that came from the union) but that is easy to do; again, you have good choices.

It is illegal for the union or your school district to discriminate against you in any way for exercising your First Amendment rights to decline union membership.

If you worry about seeming ungrateful because the union is required to represent you, then send a thank you note to your local rep. And a voluntary donation if you think the local is doing a great job. It is always good to be gracious and to show gratitude.

This is your choice. The Supreme Court said you have to give your affirmative consent to union membership. The Court said you can resign without paying any fees or losing your job, but for now you are limited to the 7-day window.

Here is the union card (with added emphasis). As you can see, you can still submit your resignation by email Sunday the 30th:

I agree to submit dues to Education Minnesota and hereby request and voluntarily authorize my employer to deduct from my wages an amount equal to the regular monthly dues uniformly applicable to members of Education Minnesota or monthly service fee, and further that such amount so deducted be sent to such local union for and on my behalf. This authorization shall remain in effect and shall be automatically renewed from year to year, irrespective of my membership in the union, unless I revoke it by submitting written notice to both my employer and the local union during the seven-day period that begins on September 24 and ends on September 30. Such revocation will take effect on October 1 in the year in which I submit the revocation.

Thank you for being an Educated Teacher!

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