An NPRI analysis of teacher union contracts around the state found that almost all contain clauses requiring teachers who want to opt-out
to submit written notice to their union and/or school district in the two weeks following July 1.
School district contracts in Carson City and Elko, Douglas and Lincoln
counties do not include an opt-out period, although one may be stated
on the form teachers sign when they join the union. The Mineral County
School District offers teachers the most freedom, because its contract
states that a dues “authorization shall continue in effect unless such
authorization is formally revoked by the teacher in writing and copies
thereof are delivered to the association and the board.”
During the first two weeks of July, most teachers are on vacation,
with school-related activities far from their minds — which is why
union bosses choose that period: It gives them their best chance to
But because accountability is important, NPRI is making available
generic opt-out letters for teachers in every school district in the
state — as well as citing some of the many reasons that their fellow
teachers opt out of union membership.
What are the reasons many teachers leave the union?
Reason 1: Union officials are paying themselves lavish salaries with
teachers’ dues money.
In 2011, the latest year that records are available, the seven highest
paid officials with the Nevada State Education Association had an
average compensation of $174,354. This included three workers with the
job title of “employee.” Those three “employees” took home an average
of $171,606 in 2011.
At the local level, union-employee compensation is even more
outlandish. Over a two-year period, one union boss pocketed over $1.1
million from the union and union-related organizations.
While teachers were struggling, union officials used teachers’ dues to
pay themselves handsomely.
Reason 2: Exiting the union saves a teacher hundreds of dollars a year.
How would you use the hundreds of dollars a year you’d save by leaving
the union? A mortgage payment? A vacation with your family? Monthly
massages to melt away the stress of teaching? Less worry about
finances? New shoes and clothing for your children?
Teachers who opt out believe they can spend their own money better
than do the union bosses who funnel it into their own pockets.
Reason 3: Alternative professional educator associations offer better
benefits for less.
The union tells teachers that if they join, they get a $1 million
liability protection policy. Naturally, teachers like knowing they‘re
financially protected from lawsuits from disgruntled parents.
What teachers often miss, however, is that even better insurance and
benefits than CCEA offers are available from national, non-partisan
professional-educator associations. The Association of American
Educators is one such organization. For only $15 a month, AAE provides
each member a $2 million liability insurance policy, legal protection
and supplementary insurance options.
Reason 4: The union plays politics with teachers’ money
Campaign finance reports show that the Nevada State Education
Association has plowed over $1.1 million in members’ money into its
badly designed margin-tax ballot campaign. The union bosses also often
brag about their ability to play politics in Carson City.
Yet, most teachers — whether of the right or the left — aren’t
involved in education because they enjoy politics. Many teachers just
want to teach, and leave political pursuits to their personal lives,
not their professional ones.
Do you want to opt out of the union? The good news is that you soon
will be able to do so. Just submit written notice between July 1 and
15. Links to generic opt-out letters for every Nevada school district
can be found online.
If you know a teacher in Nevada, do them a favor and let them know
about this limited window when they can choose the decision about
union membership that’s best for them.