National Employee Freedom Week Wraps Up: What about Local-Only Option?

June 24-28 has been designated the first-ever National Employee Freedom Week. “National Employee Freedom Week is a national effort to inform union employees of the freedom they have regarding opting out of union membership and making the decision about union membership that’s best for them.” The Independence Institute is one of more than 40 organizations across the United States to join in celebrating the occasion. The following post is part of a series highlighting the issue’s impact in Colorado.

Is it Friday already? Wow, what a National Employee Freedom Week — starting with the news that 3 out of every 8 Colorado union members would quit the union if they could. We’ve spent time this week appreciating the options Colorado teachers currently enjoy, but also noting that opportunities exist to expand those freedoms and cure some injustices.

Last, and possibly least, I did want to point out one option that very rarely exists for any teachers anywhere in the country: the local-only union. When a teacher, new or veteran, signs up to join the union, they don’t get the choice to support the activities of the local union without also supporting the state and national. It’s kind of like cable TV: no a la carte option.

The ingenious scheme is known as the “unified dues structure.” Because, generally speaking, teachers have a greater opinion of the local union than the state union office than the National Education Association office. It only makes sense, when you think about it. Forcing support for the national union is great for the political and administrative coffers, not so much for individual rights.

More membership choices of all kinds for teachers? I’m kind of crazy for that idea. But then again, it’s Friday, and I’m feeling crazy to get out of here and go enjoy those lazy, hazy days of summer.

Cross-posted at Ed Is Watching