National Employee Freedom Week is a national effort to publicize employee rights to opt-out of union membership. As it has done in previous years, NEFW sponsoring organizations commissioned a national and state-level survey on the topic. Results were encouraging.
- Nearly 60 percent (57.2 percent) of North Carolina respondents said if employees opt-out of the union and stop paying dues, they should represent themselves in negotiations with their employer.
- Nearly 30 percent (28.7 percent) of respondents said that if it were possible to opt-out of membership in a labor union, without losing your job or any other penalty, they would do it.
Since North Carolina is a Right-to-Work state; employees don’t have to join or pay dues to any union organization to keep your job, salary, benefits or seniority. Employees still have the right to join unions or employee associations. If you are a member of a union, you have the right to inquire about the requirements for opting-out.
Such policies impact a variety of enterprises — and especially public education.
The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) is the largest professional teacher organization in North Carolina. Although NCAE doesn’t like to call itself a union, if you’re a member of NCAE you are also a member of the National Education Association, one of the largest and most radical teachers’ unions in the nation. NCAE is the NEA state affiliate in North Carolina.
Annual dues for NCAE can run upwards of almost $500 a year. What many teachers don’t know is that NCAE members have the right to opt-out of the organization.
As many of you know NCAE membership is in decline. For whatever reason teachers are opting out and choosing not to renew. Some don’t like the cost of the dues, others complain about the high salaries of NCAE officials. Still others don’t like having their dues support political candidates with whom they disagree. The results are telling: NCAE membership has been falling in recent years (See here here, and here).
Still many NCAE members don’t know that members can opt-out. It’s not easy — there are requirements — but members do have the right to leave.
More information on opt-out options and alternatives here.