Teachers, did you know?

September is the month for educators to evaluate their relationship with the teachers’ union and decide if union membership is right for them. If teachers do not feel that being in the union is in their best interest, they can create a customized resignation letter here.

Union membership is a personal decision, so before you make your choice, below are some of the most commonly asked questions.

Will the union continue to represent me if I resign?

Yes. Under current labor law, the state union is the exclusive representative to those in your workplace. The collective bargaining agreement negotiated by your local association and your employer will continue to set the terms and conditions of your employment regardless of union membership status.

Due to union insistence, educators cannot negotiate their own compensation or hire another union, entity, or person to represent them in salary and benefit negotiations. If the union does not want to represent non-members, it could lobby — as it does on many other things — to change the long-standing statutory right of government unions to exclusively represent all employees in a bargaining unit. But that would involve the union giving up its monopolistic privilege of exclusive agency.

Will I lose wages, health care or other benefits if I resign?

No. All provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between your local association and your employer will continue to govern your employment. Wages and health benefits are provided by your employer, not the union. You will also not lose your tenure or seniority.

What will I lose if I resign?

You will not be able to hold union office or vote. You will also lose the union’s liability insurance, but you can get excellent liability insurance from nonpartisan education associations for a fraction of the cost of union dues.

Is it true that teachers who resign are “free riders”?

No. As mentioned above, the union fought for and won the right to be the exclusive representative of all teachers, regardless of union membership status. But despite choosing to represent non-members, the union complains it is a “problem” — one they created themselves. And one they could solve.

How do I resign and stop dues deductions from my pay?

You can create a customized resignation letter here, and after you will see the easy steps to officially submit it: print, sign, send to your local union and Education Minnesota.

Am I alone?

No. There are thousands of educators across Minnesota exercising their First Amendment right to resign from an organization that does not reflect their values. Reach out to Educated Teachers to connect with others in your district making a similar decision!