I received a check from the California Teachers Association today, for $383. Why?
I'm required under California law to tithe to the CTA since they're required by a stupid Supreme Court decision to represent me even if I don't want their representation. (This is called an "agency fee" or "fair share" situation, as opposed to the "right to work" laws in several states.) Since I'm required to pay them for representation, they are only allowed to charge me for my "fair share" of the costs of their oh-so-fine representation--which is why they've refunded $383.
The number was determined by an arbiter paid, coincidentally enough, by the CTA. This arbiter decided that the following amounts must be refunded:
NEA--56% of dues paid
CTA--32.8% of dues paid
Local union--32.8% of dues paid
Look at those numbers! Over half of all the money the National Education Association (the national teachers union) gets and spends is on "non-representational" activities such as politics. Almost a third of the state and local union money is spent on activities totally unrelated to representing my interests (or what they think and say are my interests) before my employer.
And remember, these are the percentages determined by an arbiter hired by CTA--meaning that these are only the most obvious, non-defensible charges. If I were the arbiter, I'm sure I'd find plenty of other activities that could be classified as non-representational.
"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson