More educators leaving teachers' union
More than 6,800 educators have stopped paying dues and fees to the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), according to a recent Illinois Policy Institute article.
The article states that the union filed documents with the U.S. Department of Labor in March 2019 showing that over 6.7 percent of the workers they represented in 2017 were no longer giving them money in 2018.
“It isn’t surprising that Illinois’ public school educators don’t want to fund IFT,” Mailee Smith writes in the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) article. “The union spends just 26 cents of every $1 on representing workers.”
The issue of union dues and fees was the subject of a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018. The Court ruled in Janus v. AFCSME that government employees were no longer required to join a union or pay related fees or dues as a condition of their employment. As mentioned in the IPI article, nonunion public school employees were previously considered agency fee-payers and were forced to pay union fees while members had to pay dues to the union.
In addition to IFT losing funding, its membership has also decreased from 94,274 in 2017 to 93,968 in 2018.
IFT isn’t the only union losing membership. In a March 8 Kendall County Times article, a former member of the Naperville Unit Education Association revealed that they left the union because it supported causes that went against their beliefs. Among those causes was abortion.
“I’m Catholic and conservative, so I’m not pro-abortion,” the teacher told Kendall County Times. “The bottom line is [the union] is a political organization, not a collective-bargaining unit. And I’m not interested in being a part of it.”
Those who opt out of teacher unions may consider alternative organizations such as the Association of American Educators (AAE). It is the nation’s largest nonunion professional educators organization. AAE doesn’t engage in collective bargaining, spend members’ dues on partisan politics, support or oppose controversial agendas unrelated to education, or tell members how they should vote.
The Illinois Policy Institute has created Leave My Union for other public-sector employees looking to opt out of their unions.
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