One Contract or Two, Making Employees Opt Out of Union Dues Each Year Isn't Fair

As reported in the Pueblo Chieftain, today is the day a newly combined union of teachers and classified employees in School District 70 begins its master agreement negotiations. That’s fine as far as it goes. I guess one contract is easier to negotiate than two. At the risk of repeating myself from last June, the best thing that could be done with this fresh start is to get rid of a burdensome provision that afflicted both the old contracts:

Both the district’s non-union teachers and classified employees have to file a written form each year within a narrow time frame to opt out of paying a full year of union dues.

This negotiated policy affects real people, like school librarian Becky Robertson, a non-union member who missed the deadline a few years ago because of family medical emergencies. When she appealed, do you think union officials were willing to make an exception so she could save the few hundred dollars to help pay expensive bills? Watch the video about teachers unions:

Whether the policy is negotiated into one contract or two, where’s the respect of just asking teachers and other school employees first? Under state law, opt-out provisions are allowed as means of determining voluntary support for a membership organization.

Really? Maybe I should create a local “Girls Are Yucky” club and garnish union officials’ paychecks to pay for it unless they send me a certified letter every year between September 1 and 15. It doesn’t seem quite so fair then, does it?