Indiana Teacher Union May Lose Dues Deduction Privelege

A bill before the Indiana legislature would ban school districts from acting as the union’s bill collector.  Currently school districts do union officials’ work for them – free of charge, by deducting teacher union dues automatically from teachers’ paychecks.

This automatic dues deduction scheme benefits teacher unions in many ways, so there is no question teacher union officials are up in arms about the potential loss of this cash cow. 

One of the most egregious benefits is that teachers, who have had a Right to Work Law since 1993 in Indiana, may resign their union membership.  But revoking their dues deduction may be a different story.  Many teachers are unaware that the school district actually automatically takes out union dues, and many teachers have fought unsuccessfully to recoup unwanted dues from being deducted from their paychecks when they are no longer union members.

Indiana Professional Educators group offers Indiana teachers a nonunion professional alternative, without the politics and the high dues. 

House Representative Kreg Battles protested the action by declaring [automatic dues deduction] had nothing to do with kids.  Sadly, that is true of most teacher union officials’ agenda, so to use it as an excuse for retaining the privlege just doesn’t make sense. 

“This was pure politics. It was wrapped in politics. It had nothing to do with kids. It had nothing to do with policy,” Battles said.

Indiana teachers who are not union members, but are having a difficult time retrieving their deducted dues, should contact The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation for assistance.

Erik Bradner has the story in the Evansville Courier-Press.

A House panel advanced a measure Tuesday that would bar schools from deducting union fees from teachers’ paychecks — a move backed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

That proposal was tacked onto an unrelated bill as an amendment during a House Education Committee hearing that took place ahead of a key legislative deadline. It was authored by Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton, and quickly supported during the hearing by Pence’s top policy aide, Marilee Springer.

Thompson argued that unions — especially the Indiana State Teachers Association — funnel contributions into political campaigns, and shouldn’t get the government’s help in doing so.

“If someone were to use a Statehouse phone to solicit contributions, that’s illegal,” he said. “Using government to help run the political side — that’s not the way to operate. It’s that simple.”

The move spurred the Indiana State Teachers Association into action. The group emailed thousands of its members Tuesday afternoon urging them to contact their lawmakers and ask them to oppose Thompson’s measure.

“It’s very obvious that one of the biggest donators to the state Democratic Party, to the state Democratic caucus is the ISTA. There is a feeling that if you put some kind of stumbling block or roadblock, it’s going to impede and get in the way of its progress.”

The bill now moves to the floor of the Indiana House for a vote that’s expected to take place ahead of a Monday deadline.