Educated Teachers recommends that you send your resignation letter, opting-out of the union, via the U.S. mail to Education Minnesota, then follow up with an email. The instructions and help with the letter are here. And get it in the mail, ideally postmarked today.
The union needs to have written proof of membership to be in compliance with the Janus decision. The union is telling teachers who have NOT signed the card that they are members in good standing. You do not need to sign to keep your job. If you have signed a card, you can still resign over the next few days.
Remember as the 7-day window comes to a close this weekend: the U.S. Supreme Court said in Janus that this is your choice. If you resign, you do not have to fund the union with fair-share fees or any other fees. But, again, you can voluntarily support your local without becoming a member. It is up to the local whether to accept your gracious gesture.
Minnesota teachers want protection against allegations that could threaten their career. And in the wake of the Janus decision, teacher associations want educators to know they have options for excellent liability insurance.
Minnesota teachers who are choosing to exercise their First Amendment rights and resign from union membership are being told they need to meet with their local union official before they can opt-out. This meeting is not required under the law, teacher contract, or under the union membership card.
Given that most of the teachers’ local unions were recognized in the 1970s, the percentage of teachers in the classroom today who voted for (or against) the current union representation is zero, or nearly so. When you accept a teaching job in Minnesota, you accept the exclusive representation of the union whether you are a member or not. If you do not, you do not get the job.
Denise Specht, President of Education Minnesota makes over $206,000 a year. Specht's gross salary increased $5,794 in 2016. Almost 70 executives and other staff at Education Minnesota make over $100,000 in salary. State dues have gone up by $7; dues range from $650 to $1,400. There were 6,534 reported agency fee payers in 2017.
We do think if enough teachers exercise their right to resign from the union, that the union is more likely to do a better job representing all teachers; and that would be a good thing. What is “enough?” We do not know. But if very few teachers resign, Education Minnesota is unlikely to shift its focus away from politics and on to the every-day issues faced by teachers in the classroom and as professionals.
Mary Shapiro, a 35-year Minnesota veteran teacher, remembers a time when belonging to a union meant being part of a “local only” association concerned almost entirely with improving working and learning conditions in her school.
“When I first started teaching, union representation wasn’t political at all. The union’s role was…