Dear “John Randolph of Roanoke,” you very much have a choice if you are tired of paying dues to the Virginia Education Association. I saw your lament in the comment string on Jim Bacon’s report today about pending legislation to force non-union employees to pay union dues.
“Can’t drop out though. These guys are the only ones that will go to bat for me if I am falsely accused of something at school. We are so wide open and vulnerable these days. I guess I have the wolf by the ears.”
Here is information on three alternatives you might consider, with up to $2 million of professional liability coverage offered for far less cost than VEA dues. You can choose from:
- The Virginia Professional Educators
- The Association of American Educators
- The Christian Educators Association International
I should disclose that promoting these choices is a goal for the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. Chris Braunlich posted on Bacon’s Rebellion during last session promoting legislation to allow those groups equal access to teachers within public school benefit forums, a bill the VEA barely defeated when one GOP delegate voted with all the Democrats on the House Education Committee. (Former) Del. Gordon Helsel did it twice.
This year, of course, the VEA won’t need any GOP votes to kill that idea.
These alternate groups claim they stay away from political contributions and endorsements, which is a reason their dues can be lower. But that is also why they face so many obstacles challenging the near monopoly clout of the VEA and its national parent (VPAP donation reports here and here.) Local elected school boards don’t dare let VEA’s competitors in the door.
Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw’s new bill looks like “the one,” given his previous statements of opposition to repealing Right to Work in the statute. But the unions don’t really want to force reluctant fellow workers to join, they just want their money. Reluctant members might upset the status quo, ask inconvenient questions, mount insurgent campaigns for union leadership. Just suck the bucks from their pay and send them packing. My prediction is that Governor Ralph Northam will sign this and still claim no harm to Right to Work.
The interesting thing on Saslaw’s Senate Bill 426 will be who on the side of the business community sidles up to him along with the unions, to curry favor with the new power structure. Watch for it. As one of our members said during my caucus days, when he had signed onto a Democrat governor’s tax bill without telling us: “If you want eggs, you have to be in the hen house.” It is Saslaw’s hen house now.There are currently no comments highlighted.