It’s Day 5: What we are hearing from teachers during the 7-day opt-out week

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. 

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It’s Day 4: There are liability coverage options outside of the union

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.

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Teachers: You do not need to meet with your local union rep to opt-out this week

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.

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Workplace Democracy? Today’s K-12 teachers did not vote for Education Minnesota.

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.

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By the Numbers: Union Executive Pay, Dues and Membership

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.

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How many teachers need to resign before the union takes notice, does a better job?

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.

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Mary Shapiro’s Story

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…

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Top Concerns of Teachers Answered: Liability Protection & Local Union Donation Option

Minnesota teachers who do not belong to the union can get affordable liability coverage and support their local union. Here is how.

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Is there a way for teachers to just financially support their local union and not Education Minnesota (and NEA and AFT)? Can we go local only?

Teachers and other school employees cannot choose to only pay dues to their local union. They can, however, opt-out of their union membership and then send donations to their local association if they so choose. This is a great way to recognize and thank your local reps for the work they must do as the bargaining agent for the union.

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