As you busily prepare your classrooms for a new school year — or have already welcomed students back! — we want to remind Minnesota educators that the month of September is also your annual opportunity to exercise your rights regarding union membership. Union membership is a personal decision, and educators are deciding to resign for a variety of reasons. Some want to protect their income rather than pay union dues, others don’t support the union’s political positions, and some don’t think the union is providing enough value for what they pay in dues. You owe it to yourself to exercise your rights, regardless of your decision.
Education Minnesota limits union resignation to Sept. 1-Sept. 30 (the busiest time of the year for teachers!). If you miss the opt-out window, you are automatically locked into another year of membership.
Please share this post with an educator in your life. And understand that this is not an easy decision for most educators. The teachers’ union has been imbedded in the culture of teaching, K-12 schools, and our state polity for over 50 years.
You can find detailed steps on how to create and submit your union membership resignation letter here. Remember, should you decide the union starts prioritizing your professional needs and not divisive politics, you can always rejoin.
You can also send a voluntary donation to the local union to thank them for the collective bargaining services they provide. (The union fought for the right to be the exclusive representative agent of both members and nonmembers, so they must represent all employees in good faith.)
Union membership is not the only way you can protect yourself. There are non-union professional associations designed just for teachers that offer liability coverage, job protection benefits, professional development opportunities, etc. without the politics and for a fraction of the cost of dues.
Still on the fence about your decision? Check out our FAQ page that includes questions from teachers with answers by teachers. We hope educators find these helpful! Didn’t see your question listed? Reach out to us at [email protected], where each email is answered personally and promptly.
This September resignation window is about what’s right for you, your students, and your family. And remember, you are not alone! Many educators have decided union membership is not the best choice for them.