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Union Dues on the Rise
posted by: Alix | June 23, 2011, 04:20 PM   

Teacher unions are in a bit of a financial pinch these days. With declining membership, unilaterally negative press, and countless brewing legislative and legal battles, union leaders are struggling to live within their means. According to tax documents, despite taking in more than $1.5 billion in nationwide revenue in 2008-09, some states are literally upside-down. Faced with difficult decisions about keeping bloated staffs and fueling political agendas, state union chapters across the country are imposing dues hikes and various one-time legislative "assessments" to keep afloat.

In April, the Ohio Education Association was the first state union to impose a mandatory dues hike this year, forcing each member to pay an additional $50 per person for the Senate Bill 5 referendum campaign. Despite collecting nearly $70 million dollars per year in forced union dues from Ohio teachers, the OEA's self-preservation agenda became priority number one this spring.

The Nebraska State Education Association is also following in the footsteps of the OEA, proposing a one-time fee of $10 per member for a ballot initiative assessment in addition to a proposed $5 dues increase overall.

In the minority, Minnesota and Utah state NEA affiliates plan to keep their dues price stagnant for the time being; however, Iowa and Arizona are raising their price by $2. Wyoming and Kansas NEA affiliates have proposed $4 increases.

In California, CTA dues will raise $8–up to $647 per year. In South Dakota and Missouri, union dues will rise by $10, with North Dakota raking in another $13. It should be noted that in many of these compulsory union states, teachers have no choice but to pay up. And this amount is just state-level dues and does not include national or local assessments.

The NEA will get their taking, however, as the organization has reportedly considered a nationwide $2 increase. During their conference over July 4th weekend, NEA delegates will also vote on an additional $10 assessment to fund "legislative crises" and various ballot measures.

All told, in some states union teachers could potentially pay an additional $25 per year. That's considerable when you account for the fact that this money won't realistically be used for any meaningful member benefit or professional development. Clearly, these union leaders are in a fight for their very lives. After all, someone has to pay for six-figure salaries and partisan politics. Unfortunately that person is the hard-working teacher.

Contrarily, AAE has not raised dues in four years and continues to operate on a lean budget that is laser focused on quality member benefits. You can rest assured that AAE will never impose shady assessments or mandatory one-time fees on our membership. Unlike the NEA, as a purely voluntary organization, we must focus solely on our membership's needs.

Do you think these dues increases are worth the money?
Comment below.

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