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MN Educators: Make your choice about union membership today

Today is the last day for Minnesota educators to exercise their right regarding union membership. Education Minnesota—the state’s teachers’ union—limits when teachers can resign from membership to 30 days in September. The Center believes this opt-out window is unconstitutional, but until that gets sorted out in the courts, the most effective way to resign is by following the union’s rules.

If you have decided union membership is not the best decision for you, your resignation letter (which you can create here) must be postmarked today. We are not sure if the union will honor your letter after today’s deadline, but if you attempt to resign later on, let us know.

Remember, it’s your choice whether you financially support the union. Not the union’s. Not your employer’s. And not your colleagues’. Many teachers are choosing to opt-out for a variety of reasons. Some don’t appreciate the union sending their money to politicians and political organizations they disagree with. Others hope their resignation will serve as a wake-up call to their union to better serve its members and meet their needs. No matter your reason, you are not alone. And you can always rejoin membership.

“Who is going to represent me?”

The union fought for and won the right to exclusive representation, and because of this, it must represent both members and nonmembers in good faith. This is why name-calling such as “freeloaders” and “scabs” is so disingenuous. If the union wanted to only represent members, it could lobby for this change.

Teachers interested in the extra protection that individual liability insurance plans offer can get this coverage outside of union membership. Visit here to learn about two national non-union education associations that provide liability coverage and other job protection benefits.

“What will my colleagues think?”

Because union membership is a personal decision, you do not have to share your choice. Many teachers have shared with EducatedTeachersMN that nothing changed for them professionally when they opted out of the union. You are always protected under Minnesota law and the Constitution from harassment and bullying for your decision. Plus, we hope fellow educators understand the importance of respect for an individual’s personal choice.

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