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NEFW Spotlight: Kansas Teachers Decertify from Union
posted by: Ruthie | June 24, 2013, 10:32 PM   

In honor of National Employee Freedom Week, a nationwide campaign offering an unparalleled focus on the freedoms union employees have to opt out of union membership, we are sharing stories of teachers who have exercised their rights and have chosen the organization that best meets their needs.

Featuring a diverse and nonpartisan coalition of state-based and national organizations, National Employee Freedom Week empowers employees with information to make the decision about union membership that's best for them, including identifying non-union alternatives that better advance their profession.

Teacher choice was alive and well when the teachers of Deerfield, Kansas recently voted to decertify their local teachers association from the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). The Deerfield Educators sought the assistance of the Kansas Association of American Educators (KANAAE), a state chapter of the Association of American Educators (AAE), to educate them about the process to become a local-only teacher organization.

This innovative maneuver enables all teachers in the district to be a member of the local organization and to be participants in the decisions that affect their wages and terms of employment without having to pay costly dues to state and national teacher unions in order to have that right.

Led by local educators Joel McClure and Doug Crandall, the decertification means that teachers in Deerfield are no longer forced to financially support the KNEA and NEA in order to have a voice in the bargaining process or to be an active participants in that process.

"I'm thrilled that our educators were finally able to make the right choice for their school," said Mr. McClure, a local leader. "My colleagues were simply unwilling to pay high dues and bankroll partisan politics in order to have a say locally."

The story of these Kansas teachers is just one of many examples of teachers who have made the decision to leave their local union. AAE celebrates these Kansas teachers' bold decision! Check National Employee Freedom Week's website to learn about union membership in your state and how you can opt out. Join the movement and share your story! 

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