CEAFU is the only organization to take direct aim at compulsory unionism in education.
Other education reform groups focus on charters, vouchers, or a variety of other issues. We focus on reforming teachers’ environment so they can better teach children in freedom. We are the only organization that focuses solely on the problem of teacher unionism and how it affects the working environment for teachers.
Teaching is a difficult job. We work to free teachers from the encumbrance of labyrinthine rules enshrined in bargaining agreements. Teachers are free to simply teach without being forced to support issues they do not believe in but must support through forced dues.
We are not anti-union. If union membership is valuable to teachers, they’ll join without being forced to do so. Responsible teacher union officials don’t need the power to force teachers to join. And those union officials who DO force teachers to join or support their causes don’t deserve that power.
It is a challenge helping teachers to understand how they may do their job without these monopoly bargaining rules. Most teachers have been “bottle-fed” on monopoly bargaining, courtesy of the teacher education classes and the general education environment in most states where bargaining is a fact of life. Many have never explored other professional support organizations, and are unaware they do not have to join a teacher labor union. Many teachers have never worked without a bargaining agreement, have never been given the opportunity to sit across from their employer and negotiate their individual terms of employment.
Yet teachers in 7 (Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Texas and Virginia) states function very well without any such monopoly bargaining contracts. Ask any teacher from one of these 7 states and they’ll tell you they relish the freedom they have where monopoly bargaining is not forced upon them.
It’s very inspiring to hear teachers talk about the atmosphere in a state where monopoly bargaining is not practiced. Connie Kilday from the Association of Texas Professional Educators once said, “I get down on my knees and thank God every day we are a Right to Work State and we don’t have bargaining. I appreciate the freedom of association so much on a personal level.”
CEAFU is unique supporting teachers whose human and civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism.