This Is What Happens When School Employees Learn Their Rights

This Is What Happens When School Employees Learn Their Rights

This Is What Happens When School Employees Learn Their Rights

Washington’s school employee unions can’t say they weren’t warned. Back in August, the Freedom Foundation ran a campaign to inform and educate classified public school employees about their right to opt out of paying union dues, and we encouraged the unions to get their houses in order.

They didn’t listen and, six weeks later, nearly 400 more have opted out.

The blog noted, “This loss of members should send a message to union leaders; it’s time to start listening to the employees you’re supposed to be representing.”

But every day the Freedom Foundation continues to get emails and calls from classified employees talking about their neglectful, rude and heavy-handed union that does nothing but help itself to a hefty share of their paychecks.

Even now government unions can’t quite accept responsibility for their monumental irresponsibility. For example, the leadership of Public School Employees of Washington/SEIU Local 1948 (PSE) is trying to mislead and trick its members into staying in the union. PSE is still hoping the same fear tactics and lies that got the workers into the union will keep them there, in spite of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming their right to opt out and the Freedom Foundation’s tireless efforts to spread the word.

But many public school workers just aren’t buying it any more.

Several paraeducators, cafeteria workers and bus drivers have contacted us and asked if we would help them send letters to their colleagues about cancelling their PSE membership, while others simply ask for a dozen resignation forms to share.

Two things are clear. First, these workers were never properly informed by their union of their rights and, second, hundreds of thousands of dollars that were being devoured by a highly politicized labor bureaucracy are now staying in workers’ paychecks.

Washington’s government unions had their chance. Now they have to respond as their members learn the truth from someone else.

And the early indications are they’ll have a lot fewer names on their Christmas card list this year.

National Outreach Director
Before joining the Freedom Foundation, Matthew worked as supervisor at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, where he coordinated efforts between federal and state agencies, tribes, and volunteer organizations in the Puget Sound. Grassroots politics has provided Matthew with many unique and sometimes controversial experiences. These experiences range from successfully building coalitions between different factions to training and organizing volunteers to maximize their effectiveness. Matthew’s passion for freedom to educate citizens about their Constitutional rights is strong and unwavering. “I not only measure success by results, bu t by the integrity of the action taken to achieve the result.” —Matthew H.