October 29, 2018 at 2:15 pm

Why are the PAC and Foundation Money Subject to a Refund? The First Amendment requires it

A union supporter, Amy, wrote in on Facebook to say she was proud to pay her union dues, including the $25 to the PAC and the $5 to the Educational Foundation.

Here is how Educated Teachers responded:

Amy, good for you but these are not “dues.” The $25 is PAC money. Under the First Amendment, the union has to refund the money because it is spent on partisan politics. It does not pay for collective bargaining; it pays for electioneering. The Foundation money ($5) has to be refunded, too, because you cannot force someone to contribute to a charity. They get to choose where to donate. I hope that makes sense to you. These are all protections under the U.S. Constitution.

As we have noted elsewhere, the union should not be able to just take this money out of paychecks along with regular dues and then force busy teachers and ESPs to jump through bureaucratic hoops to get back $30–and do that every year! This is something the legislature must fix; if not a court will have to order Minnesota to do the right thing.

The union should ask members to contribute voluntarily. That approach would have integrity because it respects everyone’s point of view, and precious time. Imagine the goodwill the union could create if it just stopped being so political and fixed this without drama at the legislature or a court order.

It is just so obvious that the union would rather have the money than respect the teachers who might not want to contribute to the PAC or the Foundation. That is sad.

So get those refund requests postmarked by Halloween! Maybe we can get this fixed so it is the last year you have to do this. Then you will have more time for your families and your students.

News & Legislative Updates

Teachers can request PAC refund by Halloween

Each year, Education Minnesota charges member teachers and education support professionals (ESPs) $25.00 for its political action committee (PAC). PAC money is spent on political parties, candidates, and other political funds.

According to the most recent filing with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Education…

Keep Reading

Teacher opt-out window closes Saturday

Educators’ once-a-year-only opportunity to evaluate their relationship with the teachers’ union will end this Saturday, Sept. 30. If you are a Minnesota educator and have decided that union membership is no longer the best choice for you, go here to get started.

You can create your customized opt-out…

Keep Reading

Free teacher appreciation event at Mall of America

The Mall of America Community Foundation is recognizing teachers through a free teacher appreciation event at Nickelodeon Universe on Sunday, May 7. As much continues to be asked of our educators, finding ways to say “thank you” are important!

Below is the event flyer with additional…

Keep Reading