SACRAMENTO – Thousands of teachers across the nation have been eager to become the true professionals they were trained to be by dropping their memberships with their industrial-style labor unions.
Many also resent the amount of their monthly dues money that’s used by their unions for political purposes.
There’s a way out of the unions in many states, and way to get some dues money back at the same time. Concerned teachers are encouraged to research their rights – which are frequently concealed by the unions – and learn how they can drop their ties to these increasingly radical groups that only represent the views and interests of a small group of elite union leaders.
In California, home to some of the nation’s most radical and powerful teachers unions, two groups are providing teachers with the information they need to make a hasty retreat from their unions and recover some of the money they were forced to invest in left-wing political causes.
The California Public Policy Center and California Teachers Empowerment Network have announced the kickoff of a two-month information campaign to inform teachers of their little-known options.
They will let educators who belong to the California Teachers Association know they can receive a $300-$400 rebate on dues used for political purposes if they drop their union memberships.
They have also created a website – CaliforniaTeacherFreedom.com -which offers printable, generic opt-out letters for dropping union membership.
Meanwhile, the CPPC and CTEN released the results of a poll that shows people in 36.5 percent of union households in California would like to explore the possibility of dumping their affiliations, if they could do so without incurring a financial penalty.
“Although California is not a right-to-work state, teachers still have options when it comes to union membership, and our survey indicates there are tens of thousands of teachers interested in those options,” said Mark Bucher, chairman of the CPPC.
“But to receive back their own money, teachers must opt out of CTA and then send the union a ‘rebate’ request each year between Sept. 1 and Nov. 15. Otherwise CTU will continue to spend their money on political and other activities, which usually is between $300 and $400 (per teacher).”
There are also rules for dropping out and getting dues rebates for members of two other unions, including United Teachers Los Angeles and the California Federation of Teachers, according to Larry Sand, president of CTEN. Those rules can also be accessed on the new website, he said.
“I’ve worked with hundreds of teachers who wanted out of CTA and everyone has a unique reason for doing so,” Sand said. “Some teachers are shocked to learn that CTA has spent over $290 million in members’ money on political activities in the last 14 years. Some think CTU offers terrible service. Others think they can spend their own money in better ways than union officials.
“Whatever a teacher’s reason for wanting their own money back from CTA, we will provide the information and timelines on how teachers can make that choice.”