If you are a public school teacher or support staff, there are three options for workplace representation available:
This is the current situation for nearly all public school teachers, where you are a member of either the NEA/PSEA or AFT/AFT-PA. These massive corporate unions work through what’s called a “unified dues” system. That is, if you’re a member of your local union, you are also automatically a member of the state affiliate (the PSEA or AFT-PA) AND the national organization (the NEA or AFT). You cannot be a member of just your local. If you dislike this situation, you can change it—keep reading for your other two options.
You probably appreciate your local union and colleagues, and the hard work they do in representing you. There is a way to support them and continue having labor representation. It’s called creating an independent local union. This will involve your local union leaving the NEA/PSEA or AFT/AFT-PA in a process called disaffiliation, and keeping your current leaders under a new union name. Alternatively, you can ask the state to hold a workplace election and vote in a new union with new leaders.
Benefits of an independent local union:
Is this option real?! YES. In the last five years, educators in at least 11 school districts nationwide have made the break:
Teachers who are not interested in joining a union can still get liability insurance, grievance representation, and other educator support through non-union professional organizations such as the American Association of Educators (AAE) or the Keystone Teachers Association (KEYTA). AAE and KEYTA have provided discount codes to Free to Teach members for your first year of membership. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more.
Information on how to resign your union membership is available here.
For information on how to pursue these options, please contact us at Info@FreetoTeach.org or 833-969-FAIR (3247).