July 12, 2018

In wake of Supreme Court ruling on union fees, Minnesota teachers decide whether to opt out or go all in

Read the entire article on MinnPost by Erin Hinrichs.

Leading up to the Janus decision, Gotham Research Group, an independent, New York-based research firm, conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,000 full-time traditional public school and public charter school teachers to assess their opinions about unions and the case being considered by the Supreme Court. The research firm consulted members of Educators for Excellence, a teacher-led education reform group, in writing the survey questions. 

The survey shows that teachers are largely committed to their unions, but nearly 75 percent of union teachers indicated a disconnect between the policy decisions championed by their union and their own policy preferences. This sentiment rang true for a smaller sample of 50 Minnesota teachers as well.

Madaline Edison, executive director of Educators for Excellence-Minnesota, says that this disconnect can happen in a few different ways.

“It can show up in terms of climate and culture of unions,” she said. “Depending on the strengths of the union leadership and who shows up at those meetings, sometimes meetings can feel like it’s not a very inclusive space and it’s a few folks who’ve been around the longest who definitely have the strongest voice in conversations. It can be hard as a new teacher — or as a person who hasn’t gone to meetings before — to feel like your voice is heard in those settings.”

To read the complete article, visit MinnPost.