Saturday, November 05, 2005

Response From My Local Union About Resigning

Here's the information one of my union reps got back from our local union president about my wanting to resign from the union:

I would appreciate if you would inform all potential Agency Fee Payers
that I would like to have a conversation with them before they make the
decision to become an Agency Fee Payer. With that said, here are the answers to
the questions that you posed to me:

1. Can Agency Fee members vote on contracts?
The short answer to that question is no. From time to time the Executive
Board of SJTA will make an exception to that policy, pending a majority
vote of that body.

2. Can Agency Fee members vote for union officers?
Only NEA/CTA/SJTA members may vote in elections of union officers or
any union election. Agency Fee Payers may not be a Faculty Rep or run for
any office in the union.

3. Can Agency FEE members participate in union meetings?

Only union members are allowed to attend union meetings, that is
meetings called for by union officers, such as monthly faculty rep
meetings. Site meetings do not have such restrictions. However, the union has an
obligation not to exclude non-members from the information regarding
negotiations. This is why we send information to everyone regarding
proposals, status of negotiations, tentative agreements, and
ratification of agreements.

4. What are the rights of Agency Fee members during disciplinary
meetings or other contract - violation/ hearings?

The staff at SJTA will represent Agency Fee payers in any disciplinary
or contract violation hearing. The Agency Fee member does not have access
to the CTA Group Legal Services which are our CTA attorneys.

I also feel compelled to list the additional losses of services to
Agency Fee members:

1. You must pay $100.00 per class offered to our membership for all
SJTA classes that are offered to our membership NEA/CTA/ SJTA.

2.You are not eligible for the following benefits of membership
Death & Dismemberment Plan( Free with Membership); NEA Dues Tab
insurance (Free); CTA/ NEA Educators Employment Liability Policy (Free);
All CTA/ NEA group insurance policy that are at a low cost to all

Somehow I think I can live without the "additional losses of services" listed above. I'm amazed, though, that I won't be able to vote on my own contract. Exactly what am I supposed to be paying my "agency fee" for if not collective bargaining on my behalf?

For those of you not in California, look closely at this situation. You can see why California is considered a closed-shop state, and why so many people stay in the union even though they don't exactly/legally/officially have to.

You can see why this has to change.


Dan Edwards said...

Ach, but will you still get your "NEA TODAY and CTA Whatever its called" magazines ?????

By the way, CTA legal services screwed us over big time regarding a crappy insurance pool we got trapped in. I got the impression that WE wern't worth them fighting for us (ie: worth the expense). Consequently, it cost each member of "my" local several thousand dollars, including the new teachers who'd been hired after we crawled outta that mucky insurance pool.

Darren said...

I can mooch the union rags off a sympathetic fellow teacher.

As for your insurance issue, ask me if I'm surprised.

Anonymous said...

first -- you won't get them from me, you scab :-).

second- your point about not voting on the contract is entirely valid: if the premise is that you have to pay because you 'benefit' (when was the last time that happened) from collective bargaining, then you should be able to approve of it. File the suit!

Darren said...

Honestly, I don't see that I have a case. What they're doing is *wrong* but it's entirely legal.