To opt out of California Teachers Association dues:
- Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
- On the resulting page, click the link to open your customized form. You will also receive an email with a link to your form.
- Print two copies of the form. If you check the appropriate box about needing a printed version, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
- Sign and date the forms.
- Mail one of the signed forms to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
- Mail or deliver the second signed form to your local association.
The California Teachers Association (CTA) is the designated union for certified school employees like teachers, counselors, psychologists, librarians, and education support professionals in most school districts in California.
For years, public employees in California have been forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment, allowing unions to take their members for granted. However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that public employees can no longer be required to financially support a labor union against their will. Janus v. AFSCME, 585 US (2018)
The decision found,
“The First Amendment is violated when money is taken from nonconsenting employees for a public-sector union; employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them. Accordingly, neither an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”
Consequently, public employees may decline to pay these private organizations without losing their jobs or employer-provided benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should receive an acknowledgement of your request from the union within a few weeks.
Because it has a financial interest in continuing to withhold dues from your pay, the union may contact you and attempt to persuade you to keep your membership. Their sales pitch may include untrue claims and scare tactics. It is a good idea to try to document any questionable claims made by union representatives. Do not be bullied! If you stand your ground, there is nothing the union can do to retaliate against you for opting out.
Monitor your paychecks to make sure the dues deductions stop. Contact the union if the deductions continue more than a paycheck or two after you submit your resignation request.
Contact us for assistance if for some reason the union refuses to process your dues cancellation request.
For the 2019-20 school year, teachers paid the union $916 in state and national dues. Non-teachers and those with less than 60% of a normal teaching assignment had lower dues rates, ranging from $157 to $566.
Yes. CTA has been empowered by the state to represent those in your workplace. Employees are not allowed to negotiate their own compensation or handle their own grievances with their employer, nor can they hire another person or entity to represent them.
In exchange for this unusual benefit, CTA is legally obligated to represent all employees in the workplace, including those who choose not to join the union as members.
Consequently, the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union and your employer will continue to set the terms and conditions of your employment and the union will continue to represent you in grievances, contract enforcement, discipline assistance or other proceedings governed by the collective bargaining agreement.
No. All provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between the union and your employer will continue to govern your employment. Your wages, health benefits, retirement and anything else governed by the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged if you opt out of CTA.
While the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will still govern your employment, as a nonmember, the union may choose to prevent you from participating in internal union affairs, such as attending union meetings or voting in union elections, including contract ratification votes. Unions also commonly withhold any special “members-only” deals or discounts the union has arranged for with businesses. You may no longer receive the union newsletter or similar publications.
It is not the union’s responsibility to shield district employees from legal liability from the external claims. That is the responsibility of your employer. Contact the district business office if you want to learn how your primary liability protection is provided.
The NEA pays roughly $5 for a liability policy for its members that supplements the protection already provided by your employer. This policy is for claims the union may choose to submit rather than an individual-held policy. Nonmembers are not covered by the NEA liability policy.
If you would like personal professional liability protection without conflicts of interest with the union or your employer, you can obtain a policy from independent professional education associations like the Association of American Educators or Christian Educators Association International, or you could obtain a policy from a traditional insurance provider.
People have many reasons for not wanting to support the CTA. Some simply do not believe the services the union provides are worth the dues it charges. Others may find the union’s one-size-fits-all agenda does not serve them well because they are new to the profession, have a specialty that is not acknowledged in bargaining, or they believe their effectiveness is undercompensated. Some resent the union’s role in enabling and defending underperforming employees. Many find the union’s political activity and use of dues to advance partisan causes, candidates and ideology distasteful. Still others believe that union officials are corrupt and unaccountable to their membership.
Unions representing public employees are not governed by normal consumer protection or anti-trust laws, so abuses are common. Unions can charge whatever they wish. They can spend dues money on anything they want. Often, they do not have to disclose how dues money is spent to members. They can speak for employees without consulting or informing them. They can injure some members’ interests while advancing the interests of others. Unions even have the ability to prevent employees from getting help in their workplace from other sources. They are not governed by any obligation to provide quality service, and almost never have to seek approval of the people they represent in an election to continue as the exclusive representative.
Sometimes people have a faith-based objection to unions’ expenditures. To learn more about some of the major public unions’ expenditures in light of common faith beliefs, click here.
California Teachers Association
CTA collected $191 million in dues and fees from its members in tax year 2019, according to reports the union must file with the IRS.
In 2019 alone:
- $4.3 million was channeled to the CTA Association for Better Citizenship, an arm of CTA that engages in political activity and lobbying.
- $6.9 million was spent on travel for union staff.
- $4.8 million was spent on conferences, conventions and meetings.
- At least $3.2 million was paid to private attorneys.
CTA paid 480 employees in tax year 2019, 282 of whom were paid six figures. CTA manager David Souza was paid $557,400, which is substantially more than the pay of the president of the National Education Association, who received $429,600 in fiscal year 2019.
Although CTA had accumulated a stockpile of $61.4 million in spare cash by mid-2019, teachers’ dues for the 2019-20 school year were increased from $892 to $916.
A portion of the dues paid by CTA members goes to support the National Education Association.
National Education Association
NEA collected $375 million from its members in fiscal year 2020. In that year alone:
- $50.7 million was spent on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
- $120 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations. This included $150,000 donated to the Advancement Project, an organization that actively supports efforts to “wholly dismantle” the police and prison system. NEA also gave $17 million to the Strategic Victory Fund, a super PAC that has financially supported Planned Parenthood.
- $9.2 million was spent on travel for union staff and hotel venues, including $596,000 for a conference at a four-star Hilton hotel in Orlando, FL.
- $10 million was spent on attorneys and private consultants.
- $431,302 was spent on food and catering.
NEA paid 693 officers and employees in 2020, 403 of whom were paid six figures. NEA president Lily Garcia received $416,568.
On the unions’ 2015-2016 “Hudson Notice” breaking out how much was spent on core union services, CTA reported that $55 million (29.7 percent) was not used for workplace services. Likewise, the NEA reported that $192 million (58 percent) was not used for workplace services.