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NEA Braces for Supreme Court Decision in Friedrichs vs. CTA
posted by: Alana | September 01, 2015, 02:26 PM   


Big news has broken about the number of NEA agency fee payers nationwide. For the first time ever, quantities of teachers who decline NEA membership in compulsory union states–also known as agency fee payers– has been made public courtesy of the Education Intelligence Agency.


For those of you less familiar with the term “agency fee payer”, this excerpt from explains it well:


“As established by Congress and confirmed by the Supreme Court, no teacher is required to be a member of any union. In 22 states and the District of Columbia, however, teachers can be required to pay the union an “agency fee” for the non-negotiable “privilege” of union representation. Teachers must pay this fee even if they believe they would be better served under, for example, an employment contract that rewards good teaching. This fee costs the same as union dues, minus the cost of the union’s direct political giving (agency fee payers still must shell out for internal union communications, which are often highly political). Agency fee payers thus do not pay for a union’s political contributions, and they cannot be fined (as union members can) for continuing to teach when a union strikes schools.”


Information regarding NEA agency fee payers has been kept well under wraps until now. But with the looming Friedrichs vs. CTA Supreme Court decision gaining traction and the implications a decision could have for teachers, it’s important to take a close look at the numbers.


HERE is a list of the number of agency fee payers in the 20 states that mandate agency fees.


Worthy of noting are the following facts:

  • The Oregon chapter has the largest percentage of fee payers to active members, whereas Maine has the fewest.
  • NEA calculated that for every 5% membership loss that could come from an adverse Supreme Court decision, they would lose as much as $11.5 million dollars.
  • The Michigan chapter of NEA lost 16% of active members and Wisconsin has lost more than 53% in the past 5 years as a result of teacher freedom of choice.

There’s no doubt about it. Friedrichs vs. CTA could be a complete game changer. The question is…is the NEA prepared to meet the demand of a competitive market…?


In states like Michigan and Wisconsin, we’ve seen AAE membership explode. Clearly, when teachers have a choice, many seek affordable, non-union options.


Do you think the NEA will continue to lose members in an open marketplace?

Tell us in the comments below!


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