Utah’s teachers do have a choice

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2013 2:30 a.m.

    Like all human organizations, unions are far from perfect. I have belonged to several unions over the years: AFT, UEA, AFSCME, and UPEA. The first three earned the dues I paid them. The last turned its back on me when I needed them most. But I will always join a union if I have a chance, because even weak representation is better than none. I know from experience.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    June 29, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    Not sure where this article most excels; its mendacity or its effrontery. (If you know what those words mean, thank a teacher. Who belonged to a union.)

  • metisophia Ogden, UT
    June 28, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    "Misinformation and convoluted opt-out requirements may be effective, but they're un-American."

    So a little more truth would have been nice in this article.

    While there are a few states that require teachers to pay a representative association or union for services rendered in negotiations,whether a member of that organization or not, Utah is not one. In fact, there are quite a few Right to Work (or right to get paid less and get fired on a whim) states whose teacher associations do not get any funds from teachers who are not members.

    Teachers here have always had a choice to band together or not. Those who don't join still benefit from negotiations if not a member.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 28, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    First, Utah is a right-to-work state. There is a choice for all employees in all professions NOT to be a part of the union. Teachers aren't forced to be a part of the NEA, AFT or the association promoted here.

    Second, most teachers in Utah, despite what the conservative bloggers think here, are actually conservative in their politics. The NEA supports the President and many causes not in line with their own political thinking. However unions or associations give teachers a voice in negotiating salaries and benefits and other protections such as liability protection.

    So to reiterate, joining the association (or union if you want to call it that) is NOT a condition for teacher employment but joining any association, and I believe teachers do have several choices, may offer some protections/benefits for the teacher. I suppose the purpose of this article is to inform teachers a new association exists that might be an alternative to the NEA/AFT, the two largest national associations who again might have political leanings not exactly in line with the politics of most Utah teachers. So basically the AAE is an association for (politically) conservative teachers.

  • As If! Layton, UT
    June 28, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    I joined the union for self protection. Parents can try and sue you for the most ridiculous reasons. Fortunately, it never happened to me, but I know of on teacher who was sued because her child broke her arm on the playground. Ridiculous. Also, there is no rule to make teachers join the union. I knew of many teachers at my school who didn't belong and I never were to my knowledge pressure to do so. You are correct about one thing. I hated giving money to the national NEA, but part of your dues went to them. Their beliefs are completely opposite mine and I had no desire to support them. I never paid anything like $100 to belong to the union and I worked, until recently for a big school district.

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    June 28, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    I agree whole-heartedly.

    Teachers should have a right to leave the Teachers Association...



    Good Luck.

    Why good luck?

    Just make sure that as you exit, you will refuse to take with you every benefit that was ever negotiated for you, by the Association.

    To fail to do so would reduce you from being the noble employee escaping from the shackles of the evil association...

    to a mere hypocrite who simply wants to avoid paying the dues, while eagerly accepting the benefits.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 28, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    Talk about setting up a straw man and lighting it on fire. When I was a school teacher the UEA was our lifeline. With parents trying to sue us, the state legislature trying to shortchange us, and the insurance companies trying to cheat us, we were all grateful for the united voice of the association. It was our only protection.

    If some Utah teachers want to opt out, that's their right. The association will continue to protect their rights even if they choose not to pay their fair share.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 28, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    So, what’s the difference between a Union and an Association.

    Unions are generally organized by and represent the employees.

    Associations are Unions organized by and represent Management.