Teachers Deserve to Know Their Rights!

The 2018 Janus Supreme Court decision is important to improving education for our children, which is the goal of all good teachers. For the first time in recent history, union membership is now a choice — not a requirement — if you pursue a career to educate Rhode Island's next generation. 

Education reformers are working to achieve many changes that would improve schools, especially in disadvantaged communities, but such reforms are being prevented by union collective bargaining agreements. Now that unions can no longer force teachers who disagree with them to fund their bargaining positions, teachers will be empowered with a stronger voice to fight against ineffective policies. After all, as a teacher, you know best!

Does your union membership contribute to tying the hands of teachers, parents, students, and reformers, making it more difficult to improve public education?

Professional membership should not be an obligation ... it should be your active and informed choice! Did you know that:

  • The National Education Association "opposes providing additional compensation to attract and/or retain education employees in hard-to-recruit positions? This means that disadvantaged schools aren't allowed to offer higher pay to attract talented teachers.
  • Union collective bargaining agreements make it almost impossible to fire abusive or ineffective teachers? 
  • Union policies can hurt low-income students? One recent study found that replacing a teacher who performs in the bottom 5% with just an average teacher for one year would increase that class's lifetime earnings by $250,000!

As a teacher, did you also know that: 

  • You cannot lose your employee benefits if you exit your union? Your benefits and contract terms do not change based on whether or not you are a union member.
  • There are other far-less-costly options than paying union dues to obtain liability insurance and legal representation? One such source is the non-union Association of American Educators, with decades of experience in helping educators exercise their rights in all 50 states.

Other questions you might ask yourself, include:

  • Did you ever affirmatively agree to join your union and pay dues? Or were you automatically enrolled and your dues automatically deducted from your paycheck?
  • Have you ever been allowed to vote to re-certify that your union should be your exclusive bargaining agent?
  • Do you agree with your union's education policy decisions?
  • Do you agree with your union's political agenda? Do you know what political causes your dues pay for? Is your union overly focused on national politics instead of meeting the needs of local teachers and students?
    • Coming soon: a listing of political causes that are funded by your teachers union dues.

 Thank you to the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity for providing me with the information on this website. After careful consideration, I have decided to: