Exercising your options to opt out of the union:
For existing union members, things are not that cut and dried. If you have been a union member and decide you want out, and pay no more money to the union, you must let your union know that in writing. The National Right to Work Foundation has provided teachers with an easy-to-fill-out template that you can use to resign. To access the form letter, go here.
How the union responds to your resignation/revocation letter is uncertain at this time, and we are not sure exactly when the union is legally bound to release you. Will they try and make you stay in and paying dues until the current bargaining agreement is up? Federal courts ruled prior to Janus that such a restriction on your rights to “resign and revoke” violate your First Amendment rights. Will the union say you can only leave between dates that it specifies in the membership application, dues deduction authorization, its own bylaws or collective bargaining agreement? Any hoops the union tries to make you jump through are probably unconstitutional and very possibly will be met by a legal challenge. Please send CTEN any communication that the union sends you on this matter, if it does not immediately honor your resignation and revocation requests. We very well may be able to get you free legal help, and at the same time, assist others who are in the same situation.
Do you know your employer cannot discriminate against you in any way for your membership category choice?
It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you in any way because of your membership status.
Do you know why many of your fellow teachers choose not to be a member of the union?
Only 10.7 percent of all workers in the nation are unionized. Public employee unions are the only growing segment of unions with private sector unions on the decline.
In 1857 a new organization was created. Its purpose was "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching, and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States ." The organization was the National Teachers Association which is now the National Education Association.
Today the National Education Association has a different mission. According to former NEA Executive Director John Wilson, it is to gain power. Political power, that is. He stated in a speech on July 3, 2003, "We must become even more powerful. We must not shy away from power. It's the absence of power that saps our will and corrupts our dreams." This need for power has manifested itself in a disconnect between the membership and the leadership of the union.
Do you know that you can decertify your local union or disaffiliate from your state and national unions?
Teachers have the right to choose to separate their local teacher organization from their state and national affiliated unions through disaffiliation. The option available to them will depend on the language in their local constitution, bylaws, and collective bargaining agreement. In some instances, teachers may need to only amend their constitution or bylaws to establish their independence from their state and national affiliates. In some situations, they may be required to actually go through a decertification process from their present bargaining representation, while at the same time seeking election of their local association only as their exclusive bargaining representative. Teachers also have the right through decertification to remove their local teacher organization and its affiliates as the monopoly bargaining representative.
Any group of teachers/educators who would like to know more about the options available to them or the process that is involved should feel free to contact Rafael Ruano at www.caindependentteachers.com or (888) 993-1600.
To read more about a few districts who decided it was better to be independent and maintain greater control over their professional lives, please read this from "Contract For Failure," a research paper from the Pacific Research Institute.
For those who would like to read the entire PRI study, go here.