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Analysis: When Unions Don’t Protect Teachers’ Jobs
posted by: Cindy Omlin | September 08, 2017, 11:20 PM   

Mike Antonucci writes in the Education Intelligence Agency blog post, Analysis: When Unions Don't Protect Teachers' Jobs:

What isn’t commonly understood by the public, or even by teachers, is that the union has wide discretion to pursue, or not pursue, the defense of its members. If the union and/or its attorney determines that they are unlikely to prevail, or the costs may be excessive, they may counsel the teacher to resign, transfer, or accept a lesser punishment.

In fact, the teacher's dispositions and beliefs may affect that discretion.  In 1995, the Washington Education Association directed its local education associations to develop criteria for representing local members based on whether the member’s case advances WEA goals and core values.  Clearly, union representation and legal counsel are not guaranteed even for dues paying members.

In contrast, the NWPE member's personal liability policy, which is twice that of the union's umbrella policy, guarantees a certain amount of attorney’s fees for eligible job protection issues.  Additionally, NWPE members have direct access to attorneys in our Legal Services Department.  One union representative was told that WEA attorneys work for the union, not for the members.

Because NWPE members are assured of independent legal advice focused on their best interests both nonunion and union teachers find NWPE membership of great value for the peace of mind and security it provides.

See more on NWPE liability protection, guaranteed legal help for due process employment issues, and the workplace issues with which our Legal Services staff commonly assists members.

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