Teacher opt-out window closes Friday

Minnesota educators, your once-a-year-only opportunity to resign from union membership will end this Friday, September 30. If you have decided that union membership is no longer the best choice for you, go here to get started. Make sure your opt-out letter is postmarked by September 30, and we also encourage you to email a copy to Education Minnesota at [email protected]. The revocation of dues from your paycheck will become effective on October 1, so check your next paystub to ensure the deductions have ceased.

The union’s email confirming your membership drop will state that you are no longer eligible for Education Minnesota’s professional liability coverage — this is true.

But the union is not the only one to provide protection. Check out these national professional educator associations that represent hundreds of Minnesota teachers for a fraction of the cost of dues and don’t get involved in politics.

Teachers are deciding to opt-out of the union for a variety of reasons. For some, they don’t support the union’s political agenda. Others are hoping their resignation will get the union to focus more on teachers’ professional needs. Regardless of your decision, you are not alone.

Know where the dues go

If you had to guess what percent of every union dues dollar is going to the local chapter that handles most of the day-to-day representational activities and collective bargaining services, what would you guess?

A). 70-75%

B). 48-55%

C.) 34-39%

D.) 12-25%

Check your answer here.

Minnesota teachers spend around $800-$1,000 annually on teacher union dues. Roughly a quarter of that goes to the national union, half is sent to the state union, leaving the local union often with less than a quarter of dues a year to support each member.

The union’s primary function is collective bargaining, and most of the costs associated with this are incurred at the local level. Yet, the local receives the smallest portion of dues revenue. The rest gets eaten up in a political maelstrom by the state and national teachers’ unions. Teachers cannot choose to belong only to the local union, but they can, however, resign or opt-out of Education Minnesota and its affiliates and then send voluntary donations to their local association as a thank you for the collective bargaining services. This way, teachers don’t have to worry about their money supporting political candidates and organizations they may disagree with, it solves the “free-rider” claims, and it keeps the money local.

See below for a breakdown of where dues go.

Graphics from Teacher Freedom, data from Education Minnesota