More Minnesota educators say no thanks to union membership

According to Education Minnesota’s most recent federal filing, the teachers’ union continued to lose members from 2021-2022. This marks the second consecutive year that the state teachers’ union has lost active teacher members and the third consecutive year for Education Support Professional members.

Until 2018, Minnesota educators were required to financially support the teachers’ union in order to keep their job. They didn’t have to be union members, but they were still charged 85 percent of union dues.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision on Janus v. AFSCME, millions of public employees across the country — including in Minnesota — have been freed from being forced to subsidize government unions’ political agendas.

Since the 2018 ruling, American Experiment has been helping Minnesotans exercise their right to say no to financially supporting public-sector unions. And many of those Minnesotans include educators, who have voiced frustration with the state teachers’ union — Education Minnesota — and its national affiliates prioritizing politics and partisan agendas. Teachers have also shared that they found better educator associations that provide what they need professionally.

Out of the $32 million Education Minnesota brought in through dues from Sept. 1, 2021-August 31, 2022, not even half was spent on representational activities. Nearly $2.3 million went toward what the union self-identifies as “political activities and lobbying.” (Separate from the nearly $4 million that the union’s PAC funneled into state elections.) The National Education Association — one of the national teachers’ unions Minnesota teacher members pay dues to — spent millions of dollars more on “political activities and lobbying” than on its representational activities during the same time period.