{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Any strong thoughts/opinion about nontenured teachers opting out of joining the union their first 2-3 years? Good idea? Bad idea? It’s good to have community and solidarity, but it’s a also lot of money to some young adults... and if they’re non-renewed, there’s really nothing the union can do. My student teacher asked me and I figured I’d get the opinions of those who have experience on either side. Thanks!", "post_id": "609310174e08340022e08f6f", "reply_count": 30, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

Any strong thoughts/opinion about nontenured teachers opting out of joining the union their first 2-3 years? Good idea? Bad idea? It’s good to have community and solidarity, but it’s a also lot of money to some young adults... and if they’re non-renewed, there’s really nothing the union can do. My student teacher asked me and I figured I’d get the opinions of those who have experience on either side. Thanks!

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I've been teaching since 2007 and have never belonged to a union. With all the things in the news about AFT union, I'm glad I'm not in a union. Most charter, private, and religious schools don't have unions anyway. I think having a choice is better because we are choosing to be teachers and we choose different settings to work in. Freedom of choice should be allowed to be exercised by individuals. I'm just pointing out that there are different environments to work in, we all have our personal idea of dream job.

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Agree, Competitive schools raise the educational standards while government and unions bring the quality and innovation down.

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In my opinion, everyone lucky enough to have a union available to them should join. Unions/Teacher Associations provide a voice for teachers. Without them, you are at the mercy of your school administrators doing the right thing, even when they have conflicting priorities (trying to please teachers, students, parents, and taxpayers all at once). With a union, your teachers can negotiate a fair contract and have the teeth to enforce it. I"ve taught in states without unions and feel much more confident (and have better pay and benefits) in my current state with a strong union. Since the Janus ruling, more and more people are opting out, and I think that's very short-sighted. Strength in numbers benefits us all. When people stop joining, or putting it off until they feel it serves them better, the union is weakened. And there is a lot that unions do to protect newer teachers (who, by the nature of less experience, often make mistakes). I am in a district that has traditionally had a very good relationship between the board, superintendent, principals, and teachers, but that varies by year, and can turn in an instant. Unions may not be able to save your job depending on the situation, and we're not into protecting "bad teachers" but a good union WILL do their best to ensure that contracts are followed and that teachers receive due process rights. Our district administrators currently consult with our union on all big decisions to make sure the contract is being followed. I fear that with potentially declining membership, they may not feel compelled to continue doing that. The good news is that even since Janus, most new teachers still join, and not as many dropped as I feared. But I also think we need to think less of our individual needs and more of the collective needs and FUTURE of our profession. Weakening teacher unions weakens teacher voice and influence on decisions that directly affect our careers and our students.

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I've been teaching 32 years. I've taught in states with and without unions. I've seen a teacher arrested in her class in front of students, a teacher with cancer let go because she missed too many days, and teachers abused by many "other duties as necessary" with 100s of hours outside of contract time. I've seen effective union intervention and ineffective interventions. My gut goes with making sure you have legal recourse when things go screwy. The best thing I saw a union do was make a grievance against a principal to get the attention of the sped director to intervene after a teacher was assaulted by a student that had been assaulting students for years but was allowed to stay in the regular ed classroom. The assault was caught on camera and the district finallt acted as a result of the grievance. The teacher and other students were protected when the district seemed afraid to act.

likesmarthelpful

Something similar happened at my school.

The first 2 or 3 years might be when a teacher most needs union clarity, guidance, & backup...

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I will always be union. They give solid educational legal advice and if one is a member, protection. A few years back an AP at our school wanted to see which students truly needed sped services and we were told to not administer modified exams to students who received modified instruction. It was never put in writing. I followed my union’s legal advice on how to approach this very illegal request. 1. The AP refused to put the request in writing. 2. The AP now knew I was a member of the union and stopped pushing for me to follow that directive. 3. That AP, who had a bit of a bad rep., no longer was my evaluator. I come from a long line of working class, labor-strong American workers. I support them because they support working people.

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The word freeloading was a poor one, I admit. I am very staunchly against any excuse for opting out of union dues. The decision to allow people to benefit from the negotiation power of unions without contributing is an attempt to cripple them, so I cannot support anyone who takes part in it. It's easy to feel like you are the special case, but unions work by pooling our resources and collective power and that falls apart with that kind of thinking, which is exactly what the intent of making it a choice was by anti union interests.

likesmart

Join...think of it as life insurance...you May never need it, but if falsely accused of??? You’ll be able to have representation.

likesmart

Unions are the reason why we - as a whole, not just teachers - don't work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Unions are the reason workers have ANY rights. Join your union. Being anti-union means you're anti-worker and siding with oppressors.

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They should find the most cost effective union or association option because they provide support if things go south that don’t include nonrenewals. It’s really about the safety in numbers.

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As long time rep. Union memeber since I was 16yrs/o. I would tell newbies to join ASAP. Can't tell you how many times we've been called in to aid new teachers from vile admin. However I agree dues are really outrageous in some parts of the country. Should be a sliding scale. Saying that we've stepped up for a peer member or not.

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Join. It’s a no brainer . Yes, if non tenured, you can be readily dismissed. However, suppose they love you and , you’re falsely accused of????? Who will defend/ represent you? Out of pocket is expensive.

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I wasn't a big supporter of unions, but I went along with the dues anyway. I'm glad I did. I ran in to a situation where if I hadn't had union representation I would have been without a paycheck for an entire month. I'm still with my district and still have a good relationship with my admin because the union rep handled all the heavy work.

likesmarthelpful

I agree. I’m sorry you are not getting the support you need.

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I would definitely join and become involved so you know why it's worth it. PS there's no tenure in some states, like FL, so without a union.. it's pretty important to have that strength in numbers.

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I'm not a union member. I've been a teacher since 2005. I don't encourage people to join either.

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I've never paid union dues and I've worked in 3 districts. I would be pretty upset if I had to pay for something I wasn't apart of. I'm in southern California, maybe we do it differently?

I’m in one of the top ten salary school districts in the nation. The unions are an embarrassment look at their stance on the issues. Demands not to go back until it’s over, or vaccines first. All are located in some the worse educational deprived states and cities. Good administrators. Teachers and parents with honest moral and hard working values is the solution. If your at home smoking crack and not supporting your child or school I can assure you all the money, equipment and policies of the unions, educational gurus and government will not raise graduation statistics one inch.

Mary Robinson Y’all are lucky. Most right to work states don’t all their teachers to have any of those rights. For example, in Texas, if we strike, we lose our teaching licenses. We don’t have actual unions, they are teaching associations with very little power at all. Most join for the liability insurance. Now, in New Mexico, the other state I have worked they have that ability and they are right to work for “non-professional” jobs. However, the union in my hometown negotiated raises for all employees in the district bus drivers, instructional assistants, and teachers. It was a very big deal for them.

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