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Opt Out Today

Education Minnesota

To opt out of Education Minnesota dues:

  1. Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
  2. On the resulting page, click the link to open your customized form. You will also receive an email with a link to your form.
  3. Print the form. If you check the appropriate box about needing a printed version, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
  4. Sign and date the form, and make two copies.
  5. Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.
  6. Provide a copy to your employer’s payroll officer and keep a copy for your files.
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Education Minnesota is the designated union for approximately 90,000 teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty throughout Minnesota.

For years, public employees in Minnesota have been forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, allowing unions like Education Minnesota to take their members for granted. However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME (2018), public employees can no longer be required to financially support a labor union against their will.

The court ruled that the mandatory dues requirement violated workers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association, and that public employees have the right to choose for themselves whether to pay any union dues or fees.

You can opt out of Education Minnesota dues by filling out the form above, printing it and mailing it to the union.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after I send my resignation to the union?

In most cases, union dues are automatically deducted from employees’ paychecks. Monitor your paychecks to make sure the dues deductions stop. If the deductions continue for more than a couple pay periods after submitting your opt-out request, contact the union.

Finally, keep in mind:

Opting out is your constitutional right. However, unions like Education Minnesota sometimes place restrictions on when they will accept opt-out requests. If the union refuses to immediately cancel dues deductions from your pay, ask them to provide you with written documentation and contact us for assistance.

How much are Education Minnesota dues?

According to federal filings, Education Minnesota charges its licensed education personnel between $55 and $490 in annual dues. Education support professionals must pay between $84 and $328 each year. Members also pay dues to NEA and AFT, national affiliates of Education Minnesota.

Will the union continue to represent me if I opt out?

Yes. Education Minnesota has arranged to be the “exclusive representative” of its bargaining units, meaning it is impossible for workers to get out of the terms of the contract, even if they cease paying dues.

In exchange for the monopoly on this particular service, Education Minnesota is legally obligated to represent all employees in the workplace, including those who choose not to join the union as members.

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.

Will I lose wages, health care, retirement or other benefits if I opt out?

No. Under state law, a union contract is binding on all employees in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether they are technically union “members.” Your compensation, health benefits, retirement, and anything else governed by the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged if you opt out of Education Minnesota.

How will my relationship with the union change if I opt out?

While the terms of the contract will still govern your employment, union officials commonly prohibit nonmembers from participating in internal union affairs, such as attending union meetings, voting for union officers or participating in contract ratification votes. You’ll also be ineligible for any special “members only” benefits, such as discounts on additional insurance, scholarship programs, or deals the union has arranged with businesses. You may no longer receive the union newsletter or similar publications.

Why do people opt out of the union?

People have many reasons for not wanting to support the union. 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 the usual 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.

How does Education Minnesota spend my dues money?

Education Minnesota

Education Minnesota collected $31.2 million in dues and fees from its members in fiscal year 2020, according to reports the union must file with the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

In that year alone:

  • $17.3 million went to affiliated organizations, including the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, both headquartered in Washington, D.C. This money finances their massive political, economic and social agendas and regular support for a host of controversial organizations.
  • $1.2 million was spent by Education Minnesota on political activity and lobbying.
  • $129,100 was spent on airfare and hotels.
  • $174,000 was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
  • $15,500 was spent on food and catering.

Education Minnesota paid 223 officers and employees in 2020, 88 of whom were paid six figures. Union president Denise Sprecht was paid $211,870, and vice president Bernie Burnham received $219,680.

Also, despite having a cash stockpile of $40.8 million at the start of fiscal year 2020, Education Minnesota increased its maximum dues amount from $478 to $490 for licensed educators and from $321 to $328 for support personnel. In fiscal year 2020, its cash reserves grew to $44.5 million.

Education Minnesota’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

A portion of the dues paid by Education Minnesota 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 Eskelsen Garcia received $416,568.

NEA’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.

A portion of the dues paid by Education Minnesota members also goes to support the American Federation of Teachers.

American Federation of Teachers

The AFT collected $186 million from its members in fiscal year 2020.

  • $31.3 million was spent by the AFT on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying. This includes a $150,000 contribution to Emily’s List, an organization whose mission is to place Democratic, pro-abortion women into elected offices.
  • $8.5 million was paid or contributed to various organizations, many of which are ideologically driven.
  • $5.6 million was spent on airfare, hotels and travel for union staff. This included $197,000 spent on a conference at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The AFT also paid $85,000 for limousine and luxury chauffeuring services.
  • $9.7 million was spent on private attorneys and consultants.
  • $84,000 was spent on food and catering.

The AFT paid 374 officers and employees in 2020, 235 of whom were paid six figures. AFT president Rhonda Weingarten received $453,000.

The AFT’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.