Friedrichs case at SCOTUS and union dues are now optional. Gates-funded E4E seizes the opportunity and reaches out to rank and file.
Are you still paying $1300 a year for dues to the United Federation of Teachers? Do you know where that money goes?
A few years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to give highly effective teachers $25,000 a year in bonus pay. That’s twenty-five thousand dollars. But your union blocked that money. In fact, you paid $1300 that year to ruin your chances of getting it. Even if you got it one year out of the next ten, you’d have double the money you do now by paying the union.
It was your union that repeatedly stood in the mayor’s way. Not only that, but Mayor Bloomberg believed in good teachers so much, he was willing to halve the teaching force and pay the best teachers double. Sure there would have been higher class sizes, but aren’t truly good teachers, like you, up for a challenge?
But that’s not all your union has done. The UFT has fought charter schools tooth and nail. Charters are not bound by union contract, and have no maximum pay range. They can pay teachers as much as they like, and there have been charters that paid all teachers, regardless of experience, $25,000 more than maximum pay for only senior teachers. What are you getting for your $1300? A third of that?
Furthermore, your union has consistently thwarted opportunities for further teacher employment. Governor Cuomo has repeatedly tried to enact a tax credit for private schools. You’ve probably heard about many Catholic schools closing in our area. The union fought this, and Catholic schools continue to close. Thus, fewer teachers get jobs. You may not get a job in a Catholic school as a result of your union’s policies.
The union is all about protecting the worst teachers, and letting teachers like you suffer the consequences. If you are an excellent teacher, you don’t need to stand with a union. You will be recognized by your bosses and rewarded. In fact, if your boss were not limited by a union contract, you wouldn’t be either. You could get bonuses for your excellence and teachers like you could finally be paid what you are worth, regardless of how much that may be.
Are you going to continue to pay $1300 a year to support the UFT’s agenda of less work, fewer opportunities, and lower pay? Or are you going to keep that money and support our movement toward schools in which excellence is recognized and rewarded? You can join Educators4Excellence for free, and tell your colleagues about the benefits of going independent.
The choice is yours. And so is the money. As long as the union is still around, it will continue to provide whatever services it does, whether you pay or not. But if you join us. you will eventually get to negotiate services you need for yourself. Excellent teachers have nothing to fear from such a system.
So here’s what we want to know. Are you excellent, or are you just a hanger-on? Are you ready to take a bold step, or are you just looking for same old, same old? Are you in this job for yourself, or do you want excellence for your students?
If you are the best, stand with us. Unions are so twentieth century. If you are excellent, everyone will know it. Keep the $1300, every year, and dare to make a lot more than that over the course of your career.