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National Employee Freedom Week 2017
posted by: Colin | August 21, 2017, 12:18 AM   

This week marks the fifth annual National Employee Freedom Week, a nationwide campaign to inform employees--educators especially--about their rights when it comes to union membership, including the right to opt out of union membership, to never join a union, to become a religious objector or agency fee payer, and/or to join a non-union professional association.

Co-created by the Association of American Educators (AAE) and the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI), National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW) is a coalition of free market think tanks, non-union professional associations, education and labor reform advocates, and national policy organizations from across the nation coming together to celebrate and spread the principles of employee freedom and information to empower individual employees.

Each year, NEFW releases survey data to rebut assumptions about unionized households and American workers. For example, when asked if it were possible to opt out of union membership without penalty, nearly a third of union households say in surveys each year that they would. Unfortunately for many this is not an option, as states lacking right-to-work protection allow unions to bill non-members a significant portion of dues.

A fascinating study released by NEFW this week and conducted by Lloyd Corder, Ph.D., a marketing strategist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, reveals that 70% of union households support regular re-certifications of their union (that is, voting every year or two on whether the workplace should remain with that union) and unionized members in right-to-work states were more satisfied with their union.

"We are proud to have co-founded National Employee Freedom Week," stated AAE Executive Vice President and NEFW National Director, Colin Sharkey, "Empowering individual educators to make choices that best serve their family, their values, their conscience, their classroom, and their career goals is why AAE was founded in the first place. Across the country educators are starting a new school year, focused on student achievement and professional excellence--we should empower them with information about all of their options before they are asked to join the national labor unions. We ask so much of educators, lets at least permit them to find the right professional association to support them."

AAE and our state chapters have all endorsed this empowering week. In addition to educating union members about their rights, NEFW also helps them exercise these rights. The NEFW website features an interactive map that includes information on opt-out windows, sample opt-out letters, and information about union alternatives. Visit for more information and follow NEFW on Twitter and Facebook.

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