Join thousands of public school employees who left their union
Nearly 23,000 educators and other public school employees have chosen not to affiliate with their unions. You’re not alone if you choose to opt-out this August.
When a union executive board member told long-time Rockford-area teacher Brian Harty how his union dues were being spent, he had questions.
“That is when I began to see just how little the union had to do with the students and how much it had to do with politics,” said Harty.
“During my time on the [union’s negotiating] committee, I learned that nearly 70% of my union dues were going to political activists – told to me directly by a member of the executive board – and had nothing to do with education in the classroom or anything at all to do with teaching.”
Harty isn’t the only public school employee in Illinois to question his union – and take action. Nearly 23,000 public school employees have chosen not to affiliate with their unions since 2017.
This August, more teachers and other public school employees can choose to opt-out of their unions and stop paying dues. Alternative associations like the Association of American Educators make that choice easier.
Common questions about opting out of the union
Do I have to be a member of the union to keep my job or benefits?
No. You are guaranteed any benefits provided in the collective bargaining agreement with your employer. Your employer can’t treat nonmembers differently than union members.
What about liability insurance and job protection coverage?
Alternative associations – such as the Association of American Educators – offer liability insurance and job protection coverage, often at a fraction of the cost of union membership.
What if I still want to support my local affiliate?
It is always an option to opt-out of the union but write a separate check to monetarily support your local affiliate. That better ensures your money does not flow to the state and national affiliates.
You are not alone: join other public school employees who left their union
“My local union tried to tell me there were no other alternatives, and I wouldn’t have any legal protection if I opted out,” said Derrick Crenshaw, a teacher for more than 30 years in Glen Ellyn.
“But I did my research and found the Association of American Educators, which provides professional education liability insurance and is non-partisan.”
Public school employees have options outside traditional union membership. Now is the time to make that choice. Teachers unions typically limit when a member can leave the union to an August timeframe in order to have dues stopped.
Visit LeaveIEA.com or LeaveIFT.com if you have any other questions or want to learn more.