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  • Writer's pictureRachel Langan

Teachers Pay Nearly $1000 Each to Union Annually

Union membership costs teachers nearly $1000 annually . . . yet teacher salaries increase only about $1000 per year.

$85 in dues are paid locally to the WCAEA (West Chester Area Education Association).

$573 in dues are also paid to the PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association).

$204 in dues are paid to the NEA (National Education Association).

For a total of $862 annually paid in dues to various teacher unions.

When this author worked in the PA public school system, union membership was presented to new teachers as mandatory (when in fact, it is optional). The union president would hand the application to new teachers, would stand there while applications were being filled out, and would then collect the completed applications. This caused some teachers to feel compelled, even coerced, into joining the union.

Many believe that the union exists to negotiate the terms of fair labor for teachers. But let's take a closer look.

The mission of the NEA is "to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world."

PSEA defines their mission: "We are members who promote, protect, and advocate for our schools, students, and professions."

The local union does not have a mission available for the public to view, but a glance at their committees gives readers an idea of the causes they champion.

We know that the local union ($85 annually) is the one that is responsible for negotiating salary and benefits for teachers. Yet the PSEA ($573 annually) and NEA ($204 annually) receive much more in dues than the local union.

We have already established that the district budget has increased by $10 million per year for a decade, while the average teacher salary has increased by only $1000 per year for a decade.

Shouldn't the union be doing more for teachers? And if the local union is the one negotiating salary and benefits, what are the state and national unions doing for teachers? Stop by next week to find out!

PS: Teachers who are curious about leaving the union can find out more here, and you can find out how to resign from the union here.


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