LETTER: Teachers have until Sept. 30 to opt out of union dues

To the Editor:

Teachers who are now able to reject paying union dues may want to think about where that money goes. Because of the 2018 Janus v. AFSCME ruling, Minnesota teachers have a choice on whether or not to support a union. As they decide to opt in or out by Sept. 30, it is important for them to know that, in some cases, less than a quarter of their dues may go to local unions. 

According to a recent article by the Center of the American Experiment, “The union’s primary function is collective bargaining, and most of the costs associated with this are incurred at the local level. Yet the local receives the smallest portion of dues revenue.”

The Center cites one school district where, for the previous school year, total dues were $875 but the local union received only $150. The bulk of those dues were spent at the state and national levels. According to the Center, state union Education Minnesota’s spending on political activities and lobbying was $2.7 million during the 2016-2017 school year.

The question that teachers need to ask is why are the unions spending so much on political activities? Teachers are now able to opt out of paying union dues, of which less than a quarter may end up at the local level. Teachers, don’t let the Sept. 30 deadline slip away if you want to control your own destiny when it comes to how teacher’s unions spend your money.

Dave Sina

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