Freedom Foundation

June is Choice Window for Some Teachers

June 2nd is an important day for teachers in the districts listed below. Once every few years, it is possible for those in union-represented bargaining units to change or end their relationship with the organization providing union services.

For teachers in the districts listed, the 30 day window for voting on union recognition opens June 2nd. After July 3rd, employees in these workplaces are prohibited by law from changing or ending the business relationship they have with a union until the next contract expires in one to five years.

As WEA dues have increased to an average of $1,034, and much of this amount represents excessive charges for the union bureaucracy and politics. It is not hard to calculate that even in small school districts teachers could cut dues in half, pool resources in a local association, and still afford good attorneys to take care of their workplace services.

There are even non-union organizations that provide professional services for teachers. Northwest Professional Educators offers an array of services like liability insurance that many teachers in Washington find a great value.

Already in our state, a few districts have created a local-only union to take control of their profession and workplace needs, with Mansfield teachers being the most recent to make this change.

The state agency which administers the rules about union representation for public employees is the Public Employment Relations Commission. They provide anexplanation of the process, and a “Frequently Asked Questions” page. Their staff can answer questions and may be reached at (360) 570-7300.

The steps include:

  • Fill out a simple petition to change or end workplace representation arrangement.
  • Collect a confidential “showing of interest” which are letters or cards with the date and signature of 30% of the employees in a bargaining unit.
  • Specify the local organization which is to provide formal workplace representation (if any).
  • Send the petition (not the confidential interest cards) to the employer and the current union (if any).
  • Participate in a secret-ballot election administered by PERC. 

If you would like an attorney to assist, please contact me for a referral.

A local-only union might be right for a particular workplace, and it might not. But I believe that the WEA monopoly on workplace services results in extraordinarily high charges, inattentiveness and ideological pursuits which are more extreme than the views of most professional educators.

Districts with the open window June 2-July 3, 2015 for considering changing to a local-only or decertifying the union:

  • Adna
  • Arlington
  • Asotin
  • Asotin-Anatone
  • Auburn
  • Bainbridge
  • Battle Ground
  • Bremerton
  • Brewster
  • Bridgeport
  • Burlington-Edison
  • Cape Flattery
  • Centralia
  • Cle Elum-Roslyn
  • Columbia (Ste)
  • Columbia (Walla Walla)
  • Conway
  • Cosmopolis
  • Coupeville
  • Cusick
  • Dayton
  • Deer Park
  • Dieringer
  • East Valley (Spokane)
  • East Valley (Yakima)
  • Easton
  • Eatonville
  • Ellensburg
  • Everett
  • Ferndale
  • Goldendale
  • Granite Falls
  • Grapeview
  • Griffin
  • Harrington
  • Highline
  • Hood Canal
  • Kalama
  • Kelso
  • Kiona-Benton
  • La Conner
  • Lake Stevens
  • Lind
  • Lopez Island
  • Marysville
  • McCleary
  • Meridian
  • Monroe
  • Mossyrock
  • Mount Baker
  • Mount Vernon
  • Napavine
  • Nespelem
  • North Franklin
  • North Kitsap
  • North Thurston
  • Northport
  • Ocosta
  • Odessa
  • Orcas Island
  • Oroville
  • Pasco
  • Pateros
  • Pe Ell
  • Prescott
  • Quilcene
  • Rainier
  • Renton
  • Republic
  • Richland
  • Ridgefield
  • Ritzville
  • Seattle
  • Selah
  • Sequim
  • Shoreline
  • Skykomish
  • South Bend
  • South Whidbey
  • Spokane
  • St. John
  • Stanwood-Camano
  • Sultan
  • Toledo
  • Toutle Lake
  • Tukwila
  • Tumwater
  • Union Gap
  • Wahkiakum
  • Waitsburg
  • Washougal
  • Wenatchee
  • West Valley (Spokane)
  • White Pass
  • Wilbur
  • Wilson Creek
  • Wishram
  • Yakima

Other districts may be possible  

The Freedom Foundation has two publications which describe workplace options.


Employee Freedom: A Guide to Opting Out of Union Membership


Creating New Labor Models for Teachers in the 21st Century