June 20, 2013
Did you ever think about what it would take to dump the teachers union and decertify the NEA? It’s not something most people think about. Many of us are very vocal about criticizing the NEA, which is the largest union in the country. Most fail to realize in those discussions that many individual school teachers feel the same way. Most members of the teachers union didn’t go to college and become teachers because they dreamed about someday being members of the teachers union. They wanted to teach. They are members of the NEA because they have no choice.
Teachers in Deerfield Kansas didn’t like being members of the teachers union and remembered they did have a choice. They chose to get rid of the teachers union and took action to decertify the NEA. When they learned what hoops they would have to jump through they stuck with it and decertified the teachers union.
In a move which is almost as rare as Obama telling the truth at a press conference, these teachers did something that almost never occurs, they voted to decertify the teachers union, and the National Education Association no longer represents teachers in this Kansas town.
We hear about teachers who don’t want or don’t like the teachers union, but it is extremely rare to hear about teachers who actually leave the union. There’s a reason. Laws which are very favorable to the teachers union, and all public sector unions make it extremely difficult to decertify the union. As a practical matter, it is almost impossible to remove a public union, regardless of how unwanted they may be.
Teachers Union Protected By One Sided Laws
Public sector unions have an easier time retaining their position than [tooltip text="Rangel is a NY Democrat who committed tax fraud, was censured by the US Congress and was still reelected. He is now serving his 44th year in Congress." gravity="nw"]Charlie Rangel[/tooltip]. In fact, the deck is stacked so far in favor of teachers unions and other public sector unions that it is virtually impossible to decertify a public union. Once in, never out, so to speak. Members cannot hold the teachers union accountable. teachers have only one path to dumping the teachers union and that is to decertify the union. It’s not a simple process because bureaucratic obstacles make decertifying the teachers union difficult.
The effort to separate from the teachers union was led by school teacher Joel McClure. McClure and the teachers submitted the paperwork required to start decertifying the teachers union to the Kansas Labor Department in November 2012. Laws that protect the teachers union severely limit when members can act to decertify. There is only a 60 day period every three years during which members can apply to decertify the union. With the NEA trying to block your every move that’s a very small window of opportunity.
Unions Fight Decertification To Protect Dues
Teachers union officials contested the petition to decertify the union on the basis of it not being timely filed, even though it was. The teachers union then contested the petition claiming that the lawyer who represented the teachers wasn’t certified in Kansas, even though she was. The teachers union then contested the petition claiming that the teachers didn’t have the signatures of 30 percent of the teachers which is required, even though 15 out of 27 had signed.
The teachers union contested everything they possibly could, no matter how absurd. Their behavior and tactics are despicable. The leadership of the teachers union knew very well, for instance, that the teachers had enough signatures, but they objected saying that 15 of 27 wasn’t 30 percent, just to make it difficult and expensive. The teachers union behaves this way so they can keep collecting approximately $600 per member per year in union dues. That’s almost $2 billion in annual revenue they’d like very much to protect.
Union Doesn’t Care About Children Or Education
In that the teachers union claims to represent teachers when they behave this way towards them is the height of hypocrisy. In that any teachers believe the union represents their best interests when the union behaves this way towards them is the height of stupidity. Remember, the NEA has made it very clear that they don’t care about children.
The teachers in Deerfield Kansas prevailed and voted out the teachers union in June. When asked why they went through such protracted effort, they said the teachers union ignored their concerns. The teachers wanted to work collaboratively with the school district. “The desire is for teachers to participate at the [bargaining] table, to have free access to information,” McClure said. “In our little school district, there’s no reason we can’t sit down at the table and work out our issues.” Imagine that.
Most teachers don’t get a chance to fire the teachers union, even though the vast majority of teachers weren’t present when the unions were formed. In many Kansas school districts, not one teacher voted for the current union. Teachers who do not want a prolonged legal battle get stuck with the NEA by default.
The law should give teachers and all public sector workers more choice about who represents them. Laws that that protect the teachers union at all cost, over the interests of 3.2 million individual members is bad law and Democratic politicians should be honest enough to admit that. But they’re not.
Kansas legislators are reviewing bills which would require teachers unions to stand for re-election every two years and allow teachers to negotiate individual contracts. This would allow great teachers to negotiate for even better pay.
Intelligent US Politics applauds the teachers in Deerfield Kansas for getting rid of the NEA and for taking on the difficult process of decertifying the teachers union. We trust teachers to educate our children. We should also force lawmakers to enable teachers to decide on union membership.
Teachers who are interested in taking action to decertify the teachers union that forces your membership, collects onerous dues and doesn’t represent your interests should read this article on How To Decertify Your Union at UnionFacts.com or Contact Intelligent US Politics, we’ll be glad to provide additional information.