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.
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.)
"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.
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.
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
I agree whole-heartedly.Teachers should have a right to leave the
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.
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.
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.