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A Letter to Colleagues: Why I am not a Member of the Union

Dear Fellow Educator,

Have you heard? The Supreme Court made a big First Amendment decision this summer that affects all public employees, including teachers. The Court said that we can no longer be forced to financially support a union without first giving “affirmative consent.” This means that we do not…

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Nathan Strenge’s Story

By any measure, Nathan Strenge is an outstanding teacher. Accepted into the Gate’s Foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council, he’s won national teaching honors and been nominated as Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year. But the enormous skill and dedication that earned such recognition were not enough to move the union Nathan financially…

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Linda Hoekman’s Story

Linda Hoekman loves teaching and says she can’t imagine doing anything else. As a high school physics teacher, she loves seeing the joy in students’ eyes when they finally grasp a challenging concept. She assumed that’s what motivated every teacher but learned that not all teachers are determined to give their…

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Teachers want unions to focus more on professional needs, but are they listening?

Because of a recent Supreme Court ruling, government unions have an opportunity to reboot for the better, but they are faced with a choice: Will they continue prioritizing a political agenda unrelated to meeting the needs of their members? Or will they be more attentive and responsive to professional interests?

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Teachers Pensions far from fixed, says Star Tribune

We are pleased that the paper reported that rating agencies continue to warn Minnesota that it has much more work to do on pensions, and that if it does not reform pensions, Minnesotans will pay more to borrow money for building schools and building roads. But it would be better if reporters did not rely on biased sources for articles, especially union officials and politicians who cut the deal.

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Teachers’ Union is Meeting on the 4th of July Instead of Celebrating American Independence

The national teachers’ union (NEA) convention is in Minneapolis this year. While the rest of America is celebrating  Independence Day, the teachers’ union is conducting a day of business at the convention center.

If teachers want to influence their union, they have to spend time away from their families and…

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Are public employers in Minnesota complying with the Janus ruling? Employers should immediately stop deducting “fair share” fees.

The High Court ruled last Wednesday that employees who are nonmembers of the union now must give their affirmative consent before any fees may be deducted from their paycheck. Nonmembers by definition have not given their affirmative consent.

Fair Share Fee Payers. This means that employees who declined to join…

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Janus Wins: Supreme Court Restores First Amendment Rights of Public Employees. Now What?

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mark Janus, a child protection specialist for the State of Illinois, in Janus v. AFSCME.

The Court overturned a 1977 decision called Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, holding that public employees do not have to pay agency fees to a…

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Supreme Court Rules Public Employees Are Not Required to Fund Unions in Big Win for First Amendment Rights

In a landmark decision for First Amendment rights, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that public employees cannot be compelled to pay union fees as a condition of employment. The 5-4 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME restores the First Amendment rights of freedom of association and free speech to more…

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