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Can someone get a union dues refund?

by Jami Lund
Education Reform Fellow, Freedom Foundation

Posted 1/29/2013

Can someone get a union dues refund?


WEA has a monopoly on workplace representation, and may charge as much as it pleases. Union officials may use funds for essentially anything the organization decides, and they are not obligated to inform members how funds are used.

As you might expect, this makes dues climb very quickly. Some teachers pay nearly $1,200 in dues. The average is around $900. For this amount of money, each individual teacher could hire their own attorney every three years.

Overcharging is one reason that the local-only union option is starting to happen around the state. When the overcharges start to get this absurd, finding a more effective lower-cost option is in the best interest of the employee.

Ironically, the union does have an obligation to provide information about how funds are spent to nonmembers.

Anyone who wishes may opt out of the union and reclaim funds that would otherwise be used for extraneous activities like politics.

When they do so, the union makes available information about dues amount and how much of a refund they may have if they remember to ask in writing by a specified date. Of course, one must read several pages of legalese to uncover this truth. The amount retained by nonmembers is typically $232 per year.

Here is an estimate of the amount of union dues charged by district and ranked from high to low. The estimates are taken from information WEA provided to non-members in November.

If you know a teacher frustrated by WEA and NEA’s overcharging and Leftist spending agenda, consider providing them with a link to this information.

If you are a teacher frustrated by NEA and WEA membership, feel free to explore your options.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref.]

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