Within the next three weeks I'll receive a check from the CTA. If you're a California teacher, or a union member in any other non-right-to-work state, you could get one, too--read on to learn how.
First off, you must resign from the union. Then you must request a rebate of all dues money not spent for representation purposes; detailed information on how to do so, along with sample letters, can be found at the web site of the California Teachers Empowerment Network, here.
You need only resign once but you must request the rebate each year. If you do so by September 30th, CTA will refund your money by October 31st. If you do so by November 15th, CTA will refund your money before Christmas. My rebate checks amount to about 1/3 of my annual union dues--it's nice to get a check for over $300 right before Christmas. And it's sad to think that they're spending that much of dues money on things unrelated to worker representation.
Update, 11/4/09: Here's an updated link to replace the one above.