CHICAGO – It’s actually National Employee Freedom Week, which is the positive way to say a national week aimed at raising awareness that union members don’t have to be. Polls show nearly a third of union members would prefer not to be. Of course, a large number of union members are teachers, many of whom are enrolled into a union the minute they accept a government teaching job.
In Nevada alone, related efforts from the Nevada Policy Research Institute have resulted in 1,450 teachers leaving the state union, depriving it of approximately $1.1 million in dues each year. That, of course, weakens the union’s political power.
Since union policies are bad for kids because they prioritize adult comfort over efficiency and academic achievement, that’s a good thing. Unions support, among other things, paying teachers according to years on the job and credentials amassed, not instructional effectiveness. They also support other aspects of tenure that make it a costly hassle to fire a teacher and have even resulted in keeping child molesters in classrooms. As many school districts have found, even the “teacher development” that unions sponsor tends to benefit the unions more than the teachers, because it functions more as networking and message-spreading than actionable upgrades to a teacher’s craft.
If the third of union members who want out nationally managed to act on their wishes, unions would lose tens of millions of dollars every year, which those individual workers would personally gain. There’s an economic stimulus conservatives can support.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, Nevada Policy Research Institute
Authored by Joy Pullmann