Several weeks ago, the Freedom Foundation hosted an informational webinar for teachers in Connecticut, informing them of their right to end their union membership.
Among the topics discussed were issues important to teachers such as alternative means for obtaining liability insurance, alternative professional teacher organizations and what teachers gain and lose by ceasing their union dues payments.
After the initial announcement, a local affiliate of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), an affiliate of the massive National Education Association (NEA), sent an email to its members warning them not to attend our webinar under any circumstances.
Additionally, the CEA affiliate asked its members to fill out a survey to help their bargaining team decide what issues they needed to focus on this year.
This CEA affiliate had such a great idea that we decided to send out our own survey first.
Within a few days, our survey went out to teachers across Connecticut asking them pointed questions about their experiences with CEA and the NEA — assuring them complete anonymity to encourage honesty.
Hundreds of teachers responded with candid answers. The results may shock you (or maybe not, if you’ve been following our work for long enough).
- 88.7 percent of respondents said they were active, dues-paying members of CEA.
- 68.1 percent of respondents said they would consider themselves strong union supporters.
This is a fairly normal spread for a union to which we haven’t done much outreach. After all, this was the first contact we had with large numbers of teachers in Connecticut.
Despite many of the respondents being card-carrying members, only 59 percent of respondents said CEA had created good working conditions at their job location.
Isn’t this the one thing they’re supposed to do? It gets worse.
- Only 26.8 percent of respondents said union dues are affordable.
- Only 35 percent said they agree with their union’s spending priorities on politics.
- The other 65 percent either don’t agree with (35.9 percent) or don’t know how their union spends their money on politics (29.1 percent).
Finally, 63.4 percent of respondents said they wanted more information about how CEA & NEA spends their money.
Unions like CEA often claim their members don’t want to hear from us or are already well-informed about the inner workings of how their money is being spent.
But that would assume they’ve even asked their members these questions, and you can bet your life they haven’t.