Pa. Teacher: Union Dues Deduction is “Wage Garnishment”

Did you know school districts and other government agencies collect unions’ dues and political action committee money from payroll, just like a tax? Teachers are speaking out about this taxpayer-funded collection of political money, a privilege no other private organization enjoys. Educator Jane Ladley explains why the practice must stop.  This post first appeared on Free to Teach.

I have been a teacher in the public schools for 22 years.  For 16 of those years I chose not to be in the PSEA/NEA.  Instead, I belonged to a non-political teacher association.  To be part of that association, I wrote my own check to them.  It was totally separate from any deductions taken out of my paycheck.  In other words, it was a choice I made and paid for with my money. When I last checked, the Constitution gives me the freedom to choose which group to join.  

Now it seems that with fair share being included in the new contract for my school district, all teachers will have union dues and fair share fees automatically deducted from our paychecks.  Why is this kind of dues collection arrangement so important to the union?  Is it because they are losing members and money?  If teachers really want to be in the union, they should write their own checks. For me, dues deduction is like having my wages garnished.   

In addition, teachers may also voluntarily have payroll deductions taken out for the Political Action Committee for Education (PACE).  That money is going to political use.  How is it acceptable for our district’s personnel office to be a collection agent for a PAC?  It may be legal, but it is inherently political and unethical.  There needs to be a ban on dues deduction for public school teachers. 

Jane Ladley
Instructional Support Teacher
Chester County