Teachers can request PAC refund by Halloween

Each year, Education Minnesota charges member teachers and education support professionals (ESPs) $25.00 for its political action committee (PAC). PAC money is spent on political parties, candidates, and other political funds. (And yes, union dues outside of the PAC contribution fund politics too.)

According to the most recent filing with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Education Minnesota’s PAC spent nearly $5.4 million from January 2022 through December 2022 and is now in the hole $456k.

The DFL Party and its candidates received the largest chunk of the dollars directly, but also indirectly through political activities such as get-out-the-vote drives, election mailers, fundraisers, public marketing campaigns, etc.

What about union members who support a different candidate or political party? Or no party at all? Union member educators are forced to support the candidate the union favors, undermining their own political preferences.

If member teachers or ESPs want to get a $25 refund to protect their constitutional right to not fund the union’s PAC, they must request the refund every single year. The Education Minnesota union membership card includes the PAC contribution as part of union dues and does not give educators the right to opt-out of the deductions once and for all. It is not a lot of money, but it is a matter of principle, and it should be a choice instead of a forced contribution that has to be requested back.

Last year, there were 1,668 union members who requested the PAC refund. For those interested in doing so this year, the deadline is October 31.

  • Use the form found in the union’s magazine, Minnesota Educator.
  • Sign the form — original signature needed.
  • Mail to:
    Education Minnesota Accounting Department
    Attn: Refund Request
    41 Sherburne Ave.
    St. Paul, MN 55103
  • Look for a refund check in the mail around the end of November.

Questions about the refund request process? Email [email protected].