Pushing back against teachers’ union is not an attack on teachers

During the month of September, Minnesota teachers have the opportunity to evaluate their relationship with the teachers’ union. It’s a sensitive subject—the teachers’ union has been imbedded in K-12 education for many years.

But it is important for teachers to weigh their options regarding union membership and not let the union take their support—or their hard-earned money—for granted. It’s also important for teachers to be aware of the union’s priorities and how that impacts educators, their profession, and their students.

And when the union puts power and politics before students, it should get called out, according to Tanesha Peeples, the deputy director of Outreach for Education Post.

Unions will do anything to protect their pockets. Oops, I mean their rights.

Their policies protect ineffective teachers from being fired—teachers that get to sit in classrooms every day, do nothing to better education for our students and still get paid. All for the sake of collecting those dues.

My friend and colleague Erika Sanzi shocked the country when she reported on Rhode Island’s teachers unions’ resistance to passing legislation that would make it illegal for teachers and other school employees to have sex with students once they turn 16. Outrageous!

Is this putting students first?

Pushing back against the union’s agenda when it doesn’t promote educational excellence is not an attack on teachers or the teaching profession. Rather, it’s an attempt to start a conversation about the union flexing its political muscle and missing the mark on what teachers want the union to prioritize. Teachers, make the union work for you by resigning union membership until the union no longer behaves as special interests protecting the status quo. Learn more about your options and how to exercise your freedom of choice on union membership here.