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Getting your union dues rebate – Act now!
posted by: Ruthie | January 06, 2014, 05:09 PM   

Current agency fee payers who have not already sent in their rebate letter for this school year can use the sample objection/challenge letter here. (Current WEA members who are interested in resigning union membership and requesting the dues rebate, can use this sample letter.)

Objection/Challenge letters requesting the dues rebate must be postmarked by January 13.  NWPE advises that teachers mail their letters by certified mail to the following:

John Okamoto, 
Executive Director
Washington Education Association
P.O. Box 9100
Federal Way, WA  98063-9100

WEA DUES FOR POLITICS.
The WEA grossly overcharges teachers for workplace representation and spends much of the excess on political activity upon which individual teachers may disagree.  Some representatives tell teachers that the teachers union only spends money on politics that have been voluntarily contributed to the union PAC.  The very existence of the dues rebate and analysis of Public Disclosure Commission reports about union political contributions belie that claim.

Hundreds of thousands of WEA dues are being funneled into the WEA-PAC without the express consent of the teachers. In fact, it's reported that nearly 74% of the $494,000 WEA-PAC contributions came from the WEA general fund (where your agency fees go) with the rest coming from voluntary, individual and union staff contributions (2011-2012 election cycle).  For a detailed list of WEA contributions to WEA-PAC, see this Public Disclosure Commission
report.

Additionally, the Education Intelligence Agency
reports that of the $28.5 million annually collected by the WEA, two thirds of the fund are used to pay union staff who often serve as political operatives for the WEA (2011-2012 data).  Mandatory union dues fund staff time spent on initiative, levy, or candidate elections; staff time spent training political activists; voter list development; polling; election-related mailings; marketing policy-related messages to the public to lay the groundwork for initiatives or legislation; fundraising for political causes; WEA-paid communication systems for regional and local union officials at their home or workplace; wages and benefits for all staff involved in organizing or combating opponents; travel, hospitality, and other expenses for all staff involved in outreach to journalists; staff time spent organizing political volunteers, etc.

To learn more about union use of dues for politics, see this
handout as well as this flyer about union politics.  Teachers interested in resigning union membership can join Northwest Professional Educators for professional protection and support for only $16.50 a month at www.nwpe.org.

ANNUAL REMINDERS.
To receive annual objector letter reminders from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF), teachers are strongly encouraged to get on the Foundation's list of Agency Fee Payers.  Email your mailing address to Milton Chappell, NRTWLDF attorney.  He will mail you important annual reminders about exercising your rights.

RELIGIOUS OBJECTORS:
Teachers wishing to withhold all their dues from the union because of moral or religious objections may request religious objector status. Religious objectors are allowed to send 100% of their union dues to a nonreligious charity.  Once granted, religious objectors do not have to send in annual requests as required of objecting agency fee payers.  For help with exercising this right, see here.   You may also contact NWPE for additional help.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE.
Teachers wishing to become religious objectors are encouraged to contact Bruce Cameron, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorney who specializes in assisting religious objectors.  At no cost to you, he will review your letter and advise you as needed during the process.  

Please
contact NWPE if you have questions.

 

 

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