Teachers, don’t get tricked into treating politicians — Request your 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. According to the most recent filing with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Education Minnesota’s PAC has spent over $2.8 million between January 1 and September 20, 2022. Virtually all the PAC funds are expended on one political party (DFL). (And yes, union dues outside of the PAC contribution fund politics too.)

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 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.

Here’s a solution: The legislature should require the union to collect PAC money in a separate transaction from the union card each year. This respects and protects everyone’s rights and varying political ideologies. It would also help clear away the spider’s web of rules the union uses to make the refund process a burden on its members.

But until this burden is removed, carefully follow the steps below to meet the October 31 deadline for continuing members. For new members, the refund request form must be received by the union within 30 days of signing the membership application.

  • Cut out (if you have a hard copy) or print the PAC refund request form from 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].