Helloooo Everyone! I am excited for my sixth and final year as your President, another two-year term as State Council Rep and also another 2 year term as Chair of the BadAss Teachers Caucus. This year I will have the opportunity to teach at both Beardslee and also at Royal Oaks! As you may have guessed, our contingency language in our 2022-23 Tentative Agreement was met meaning we will be at the table negotiating more salary as well as benefits early this year!
I wanted to take some time to dispel some misinformation regarding post-Janus union membership.. specifically "dropping out of the union", opting out of joining the union, and what the benefits of membership are.
Now that the Supreme Court ruled that non-members are not mandated to pay "agency fees" the myth is that if you choose to not be a union member, you still have ALL the membership benefits. That is not the case. There are a LOT of benefits of being a union member as opposed to non-membership.
All bargaining unit members get the benefits of working under a Collective Bargaining Agreement whether you are a member or not. However, the benefits of paid membership are significant. Here are a few of the main benefits:
Automatic Membership to 3 Unions- NEA/CTA/DUEA
The Right to Representation- if something were to happen and you were to need a union representative to defend you, your Site Reps and Officers are there to represent you! They do not have to represent non-members unless there are members involved in the issue at hand as well.
Grievances- As a member, you can file a grievance with the help of a knowledgeable Grievance Team Member. He/she will attend the grievance meetings, meet the timelines and fill out/file the paperwork with you or on your behalf. If a grievance reaches the level of an arbitration where a mediator and a hearing is needed, our Board would most likely proceed with the arbitration since they are funded from membership dues, and all legal services for this cost nothing.
Legal Representation- dues-paying members have access to our amazing CTA attorneys for representation or legal advice. There are situations every year where a member needs an attorney. Non dues-paying members are on their own to find and pay for an attorney, at their own expense. Our attorneys are the best of the best up and down the state, and they are trained, practicing education attorneys.
The Right to Vote in DUEA/CTA/NEA elections- only dues-paying members may vote to ratify our contract, salary and health benefits as well as ON all DUEA leadership positions and site representatives who are your first line of defense and support.
Insurance- ALL dues-paying members can enroll in CTA Death & Dismemberment Insurance and have NEA Complimentary Life Insurance! PLUS a $1,000,000 Employment Liability insurance policy should you get sued and access to the CTA Disaster Relief Fund.
Discounts/Services- Members have access to CTA's 403B plans and financial resources, discounts on auto and home insurance, financial services of credit unions (holiday and summer savings, personal and auto loans, auto purchasing assistance, credit cards and credit consolidation loans and mortgages), discounts on restaurants, travel, retail, movies and theme parks!
Professional Development & Training- lots of training, workshops, conferences available at little to no cost sponsored by CTA and NEA
Free Subscriptions to CTA Advocate, CTA Educator, NEA Today magazines
"I don't want my dues to go to politics!" Is this YOU? Everything about our career is political. Unions are involved in politics, and I believe whole-hardheartedly we need to be. That said, every member has the option to "opt out" of the portion that goes to politics. That portion would just go to the general fund instead and can be refunded yearly through a request procedure from CTA.
If you need anything at all please reach out! Our Officers are here for you!
We need YOU! We need an Equity Team (Human Rights, Women's Issues & LGBTQ+), Social Committee/Membership Engagement Team (Organizing Team), a Political Action Chair and lots of School Board Campaign help!
Lastly, please "like" us on Facebook, check our website often, sign up for our DUEA SLACK page (it's an interactive blog type page) and our REMIND APP.. I'll send those links another day...
We look forward to a great 2022-23 year!