I would love to know why teacher unions should be allowed to use union dues for political purposes? Why should the unions force their political agenda on teachers? What exactly is the purpose of these teacher unions?
What are Teacher Unions?
Teacher unions are membership organizations for educators, administrators, counselors, staff, and school-related personnel. There are various teacher unions that are nationally known. Many teacher unions are broken down into local chapters, which may be composed of particular schools, regions, or particular school districts.
What is the Purpose of a Teacher Union?
One teacher union, American Federation of Teachers states that its mission is to “represent the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers.” In other words, AFT works to improve the economic conditions of teachers by supporting legislation that would increase teacher’s pay to the national average which would improve the economic conditions of teachers and the lifestyles that their salaries support.
AFT representatives urge lawmakers and local representatives to make wise decisions and to support legislation that improves the economic conditions of teachers. They may lobby certain issues and support certain candidates who have a record that reflects that the candidate shares similar beliefs and has particular stances on issues that the organization shares.
Strength in Numbers
The old adage is true that there are strength in numbers, and this is certainly the case with teacher unions. The more members, the stronger the voice tends to be and the more influential that unions can be, especially when members or the union are working toward a shared goal: whether it is zero tolerance or pay raises.
Another Expense for Teachers but Savings Abound
The downside is that such memberships are fairly expensively. For many teachers, belonging to a union is a necessity because of the benefits that one receives. In many cases, teachers receive discounts, and these discounts usually tend to be fairly generous. Sometimes, the savings offset the cost of the membership. For me, the cost of term life insurance is significantly cheaper through my teacher union than it is through the insurance programs that my employer offers.
Many people just join unions because many teacher unions offer free legal representation and malpractice insurance. The hope is that you, as a teacher, will never need legal representation or malpractice insurance, but it is better to be prepared than to find yourself in a bind.
As the mother of a child who attends public school I am OUTRAGED by the following letter sent to Michelle Malkin. What I cannot understand is why most teachers, living in the free world, are not as outraged! I would think that educators would be “free thinkers” and not be lead by the unions that are clearly out for themselves. If the unions are supposed to be looking out for the teacher’s best interest, why are our teachers having to pay for most of their classroom supplies out of their own pockets? After witnessing the behavior displayed in Wisconsin, in my opinion, the teacher unions do more harm than good. I see nothing in the teacher union description that they are supposed to be “political activists”!!!
By Michelle Malkin • February 24, 2011 12:55 AM
Yesterday, I posted on public school teachers speaking truth to prog power — a topic I’ve been reporting on since the late-1990s, when I covered the battle of brave dissident educators who challenged the Washington Education Association’s misuse and abuse of forced dues for Democrat politics.
Tonight, another public school teacher shared his thoughts with me. When Big Labor goons chant “WE ARE ONE,” read and re-read this letter, which tells you all you need to know about the code of silence enforced by the teachers’ union racket.
I wanted to share some of my own thoughts and frustrations with being a teacher in public education. Unfortunately, I am unable to do this openly for fear of reprisal from the very union that is supposedly in place to protect me.
Let me begin by saying that there are a lot of good teachers in my district and throughout the country whose top priority is the education of students. Sadly from my own experiences in the day to day life of being an educator there are an awful lot of teachers who are focused on anything but education.
As events have unfolded in Wisconsin, I have been reflecting on my nearly 10 years in public education. My parents were both teachers and I greatly admired the work they did with their own students. I began with that same passion for teaching that they instilled in me, but am finding it more and more difficult to keep that flame alive.
The hold that unions have over the public educational system is nothing short of toxic. Year after year, I have a lot of money taken out of my paychecks for union dues. What do I get for my money? I am bombarded with emails and flyers “urging” us to vote for candidates that coincidentally always have the letter (D) after them. I get to be lectured to by union reps about the evil Republican candidates are and why they know what is best for me.
Now I am being hit with email after email “urging” me to stand with the teachers of Wisconsin. One teacher who is very tight with our union replied to our district making fun of Republicans directly. You might ask why I don’t forward this to human resources, but the repercussions would be brutal.
The truth is that any teacher who does not hold down the talking points of the unions, DNC or Obama White House needs to keep quiet to keep their job. The vitriol I heard over the Bush years was deafening but acceptable and expected. I can hardly remember a week that went by where teachers, sometimes in front of students, were not making fun of Republicans. I’ve personally been the subject of much ridicule and scorn from fellow teachers and will continue to be as long as I am in public education. I believe in what I am doing in my own classroom by focusing on educating students, but as time goes by it is becoming more and more likely that I will leave education all together. Not because of students, but because of the unions and the teachers that support them.
Frustrated in Minnesota