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Let Teachers’ Unions Pay For Union Business

IP-7-2001 (November 2001)
Author:  John M. Gore

PDF of full Issue Paper
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Executive Summary

Why should taxpayers pay for union officers to take time off and attend union functions? Collective bargaining agreements between school districts and teachers throughout the state provide for leave for the president of the teachers’ union and other union officers to conduct union business and attend union-sponsored activities, conferences, and workshops. These forms of leave are largely underwritten by local school districts, creating huge taxpayer subsidies to local teachers’ unions. Furthermore, these provisions remove experienced educators from the classroom and replace them with less experienced counterparts in the form of replacements and substitutes, compromising the quality of education received by students. Because school boards are so closely linked to teachers’ unions, any attempt to bring these subsidies to an end should be undertaken legislatively. Such legislation would stipulate the following conditions:

Public school districts shall no longer, directly or indirectly:

  • Provide release time with pay for any period of time for service as a union representative in any national, state, or local teachers union, education association, or other professional association, or for service with or on behalf of any such labor organization.
  • Release employees from regularly contracted duties to serve in, with, or on behalf of any labor organization for more than one school year; and during any such school year the labor organization shall be responsible for the full cost of the salary and benefits of such employees.

Public educators will no longer:

  • Receive release time with pay, with the exception of personal leave days, for any period of time to attend union meetings.