Teacher union membership drops significantly

Teacher membership in Education Minnesota has dropped significantly, according to a recent federal LM-2 report the union filed with the U.S. Department of Labor that covers from September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023.

The self-reported numbers show teacher members decreased by 3.1 percent in a single year. Education Support Professional (ESP) members decreased by 6.3 percent.

Minnesota educators have a once-a-year-only opportunity during the month of September to examine their relationship with Education Minnesota and decide if union membership is right for them.

Despite raising union dues, dues revenue also declined.

Minnesota teacher union members pay just over $258 to the national unions (the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers), $528 to Education Minnesota, and then a varying amount to the local union affiliate, typically around $120 or so, for a total of roughly $900 to $1,000 a year in dues. Dues are automatically deducted from a teacher’s paycheck, meaning the employer — under the sway of the union — collects the dollars on behalf of the union. A recent report by the Commonwealth Foundation found that the national teacher unions were top spenders on politics in Minnesota during the 2021-2022 election cycle.

This latest membership decline marks the third consecutive year that the state teachers’ union has lost teacher members and the fourth consecutive year it has lost ESP members.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018 (Janus v. AFSCME) freed millions of public employees across the country from being forced to financially support a government union in order to keep their job. Since the ruling, American Experiment’s Educated Teachers project has helped Minnesota educators across the state exercise their right to say no thanks to union membership.