TAKE OUR POP QUIZ AT THE END
National Education Association-Alaska, the powerful teachers union, is spending $50,000 to oppose gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy, through a group it formed called Educators Against Dunleavy, which shares the same Main Street address as the NEA in Juneau.
With that $50,000, the group purchased $30,000 worth of digital advertising at ADN.com, going negative against Dunleavy. The remainder of the $20,000 went to the ad agency, Rising Tide Communications.
Why would the National Education Association oppose the first Alaska governor who comes from the public school community, and whose entire career was as a public school teacher and administrator — and a rural educator, at that? And the only gubernatorial candidate hopeful who has lived in the Arctic?
TEACHERS, PARA-EDUCATORS, SECRETARIES, AND JANITORS HAVE A CHOICE
Educators who disagree with the NEA-Alaska’s position on this race are now free to withhold their dues, which are going to oppose a rural school teacher who spent six years teaching in Koyuk and several years in Kotzebue. After seeing how the math works on the $50,000 spend against one of their own, they may want to decide to send their contributions to candidates themselves — or not.
Subsequent to the Janus decision by the Supreme Court, public employees can easily opt out of their union dues, and no longer even have to pay the “agency fee.” To do so, send or deliver a letter to your school district payroll department saying you no longer wish to have union dues taken from your paycheck. The human resources department is required to honor your wishes without causing you any additional steps. Keep a copy of your letter.
If you get pushback from your district human resources department, the Alaska Policy Forum has legal resources to help you enforce your rights.
POP QUIZ – DO THE MATH – IS NEA SPENDING YOUR DUES WISELY?
Story problem: For every dollar that NEA-Alaska spent opposing Mike Dunleavy through Educators Against Dunleavy, how much of it was used for ads vs. being siphoned by the ad agency?
(Extra points for those who figure out this is the same percentage that gets siphoned off in administrative costs in our public education system. Your answer must be turned in by Nov. 6.)