Second class citizens no more
Five years after a landmark SCOTUS decision, public employees continue exercising their restored freedom of association.
Education Minnesota’s annual union membership resignation “window” closed yesterday, September 30. Through the Center’s Educated Teachers project, teachers across the state decided to no longer financially support the teachers’ union and opted out for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is the union’s prioritization of partisan politics.
Education Minnesota and its national affiliates, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), do not hide their political agenda. They fund far-left candidates and political organizations that undermine the beliefs and priorities of many of their members.
Even if their members’ political views do lean left, there are several races where multiple DFL candidates run against each other. Which means teachers are forced to support the candidate the union favors, undermining their own political preferences. What about union members who support a different candidate or political party? Or no party at all?
This doesn’t stop the teachers’ unions from using their members as an ATM for the Democratic Party.
According to the union’s most recent campaign finance report, Education Minnesota’s PAC has spent just over $1.2 million from January 1, 2020 through September 15, 2020. Nearly $765,000 (mostly cash, some in kind) was contributed to the DFL House and Senate Caucuses and the DFL State Central Committee. Nearly $46,000 was contributed directly to DFL candidates, with another $11,165 spent on ads for DFL candidates. The Education Minnesota PAC sent $300,000 to WIN Minnesota’s PAC, which has raised around $3.5 million and spends it on campaigning, polling and other methods to elect Democrats.
Education Minnesota charges member teachers $25 to support its PAC. The PAC deduction is treated as part of union dues, so member teachers cannot choose to opt-out of the deduction once and for all.
If Minnesota’s educators want to protect their right to not fund the union’s PAC, they can request a refund of the forced contribution. Refund request forms are available in the union’s magazine, Minnesota Educator (p. 19). An Educated Teachers representative did confirm with the union that it will accept a printed color copy of the form if teachers no longer have the magazine.
The union must receive the refund request form with a hand-signed signature by October 31.
Once the form is filled out, mail it to:
Education Minnesota Accounting Department
Attn: Refund Request
41 Sherburne Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55103
We believe the union should collect PAC money separate from the union membership card and not have it be an assumed contribution, as the refund request process places an additional burden on educators and doesn’t respect teachers’ varying political ideologies. Let the union know its politics don’t speak for you; request your PAC refund today.
Reach out to us at [email protected] if you have questions about the refund process.
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