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July 2, 2013
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Teachers can drop union membership this month

It’s not only teachers in Clark County who are able to opt out of the teacher union between now and July 15.

Throughout most of Nevada, teachers can reclaim their dues money by submitting written notice the first two weeks in July.

An NPRI analysis of teacher union contracts around the state found that most contain clauses requiring teachers to submit written notice to their union and/or school district between July 1 – 15 if they want to opt out.

School district contracts in Elko, Douglas and Lincoln Counties do not include an opt-out period.. The Mineral County School District offers teachers the most freedom, because its contract states that a dues “authorization shall continue in effect unless such authorization is formally revoked by the teacher in writing and copies thereof are delivered to the association and the board.”

During the first two weeks of July, most teachers are on vacation, with school-related activities far from their minds. And that’s the reason the union bosses choose that period: It gives them their best chance to avoid accountability. But accountability is important. And so NPRI is providing generic opt-out letters for teachers in every school district and reminding teachers of some of the many reasons their fellow teachers are opting out of union membership.

Reason 1: It would save you hundreds of dollars a year

What would the hundreds of dollars a year you’d save by leaving the union mean to you? A mortgage payment? A vacation with your family? Monthly massages to melt away the stress of teaching? Less worry about finances? New shoes and clothing for your children?

Imagine what you would do with hundreds of extra dollars a year. Can’t you spend your own money better than union bosses who channel it into their own pockets?

Reason 2: Alternative professional educator associations offer better benefits for less

The union tells teachers that a benefit of joining is a $1 million liability protection policy for teachers. Naturally, teachers like knowing they are protected financially from lawsuits from disgruntled parents.

What teachers often miss, however, is that even better insurance and benefits than CCEA offers are available from national, non-partisan professional-educator associations. The Association of American Educators is one such organization. For only $15 a month, AAE provides each member a $2 million liability insurance policy, legal protection and supplementary insurance options.

Reason 3: The union is playing politics with teachers’ money

As the Las Vegas Sun reports, the Nevada State Education Association is planning on making a $1 million donation to support the margin-tax ballot initiative.

Yet, most teachers — whether of the right or the left — aren’t involved in education because they enjoy politics. Many teachers just want to teach, and leave political pursuits to their personal lives, not their professional ones.

The good news for teachers throughout Nevada who want to opt out of their union is that they can, but only by submitting written notice from July 1 – 15. NPRI has provided generic opt-out letters for every Nevada school district in the above chart.

If you know a teacher in Nevada, do them a favor and let them know about this limited window when they can choose the decision about union membership.

Victor Joecks is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jul 2, 2013 01:19PM Published Jul 2, 2013 01:19PM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.