Know Your Membership Options

Do You Know Your Teachers Union Membership Options?

There may be refund options your union does not want you to know about, or facts about your membership of which you have never been made aware. Read below to find out more.

Your Membership Options At A Glance

Do you know that you are no longer required to pay any money to a teachers union?
On June 27, 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the Janus v. AFSCME case. The decision means that no public school teacher or any other government worker in the U.S. has to pay money to a union as a condition of employment.

If you choose not to belong to the union, you will lose the union’s member only benefits, including liability insurance and legal representation, but there are alternative ways to secure this coverage. You can join the Association of American Educators ( or the Christian Educators Association International ( for your insurance, legal needs, and other benefits. These are professional organizations, not unions. Teachers who mention CTEN when they sign up with AAE for the first time will get a $30 discount off the regular $198 first year membership.

Do you know that California is a monopoly bargaining state?
Thirty-two states have laws authorizing monopoly bargaining. The remaining states have no mandatory monopoly bargaining, and in eight states monopoly bargaining is explicitly illegal or not tolerated.

Do you know that even if you are not a union member you are still automatically enrolled in a monopoly bargaining unit? Do you know what this means?
As an employee of a California public school district, you are given a packet, usually at your new teacher orientation, which includes enrollment forms for your labor union. There is a unified dues structure within the union, which means that when you choose to be a member of the local organization, you also belong to the national organization (National Education Association - NEA or American Federation of Teachers - AFT), and the state organization (California Teachers Association - CTA or California Federated of Teachers - CFT).

Your public school district's board of trustees has entered into a deal with your local union, which grants the union exclusive rights to negotiate pay, benefits and working conditions for all teachers whether they are a union member or not.

Your school district's payroll department acts as a "pass through" for automatic monthly dues deductions from your paycheck if you authorize this in writing. Your local union is then responsible for sending the state and national union their allocations.

Do you know how your dues are calculated?
The elected officers of the national, state and local organizations determine yearly, how much your dues will be. There is a formula used whereby roughly 2% of a new teacher's salary goes towards dues. Whether or not a pay raise is negotiated in your district, each school year, dues go up.

Let's take an example of $1,100 in dues. NEA will take $196, CTA will take $720 and your local will take about $200.

Click here for more on how to Opt Out of the Union

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