That’s unlikely, but it’s exactly what the PSEA has been doing with union members across the state on political issues—using teachers’ very own union dues.
One example is a June 2011 insert in Voice, the union’s magazine for its 185,000 members: “If you DON’T care about funds for your school…then by all means throw this away,” it reads. It’s a solicitation to donate to the union’s political action committee, PACE, because failure to do so—the union warns educators—means “less job security” for teachers and “more attacks on your profession.”
In 2012-13, the PSEA plowed $3.8 million of its members’ dues into such “political activities and lobbying,” according to its own “LM-2″ financial report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. Those activities included that PACE insert and scare-mongering spreads against Mitt Romney, sneering takedowns of Gov. Tom Corbett, and ads in support of the Obama-Biden ticket.
Educator Steve Calabro notes such browbeating made him “disillusioned” with the PSEA: “Regardless of my feelings toward our Governor, is this the kind of activity I want my union dues to fund?”
Here are more examples of PSEA and National Education Association (NEA) ads that union dues from Pennsylvania educators paid for:
- A September 2012 PSEA insert proclaming that “a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Tom Corbett.”
- An article describing a Romney presidency as “Corbett, Christie, Walker on Steroids,” with a four-page spread of PSEA-recommended candidates in the November 2012 elections.
- A spread called “We the People” encouraging teachers to vote…and give to PACE.
- An NEA election guide comparing Obama with Romney but clearly touting “Educators for Obama.”
Such partisan solicitations are why teachers across Pennsylvania are speaking out against their forced funding of the PSEA and NEA’s political activity.