The Teacher Union Liability Insurance Scam
Eminent professor Bruce Cameron, J. D., the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University, has served as a National Right to Work Foundation attorney since 1976. Reflecting upon his experience litigating on behalf of teachers whose human and civil rights have been violated as a result of compulsory unionism, Professor Cameron said, “In my experience, once an employee learns that the union must fairly represent him, the amount of the agency fee and the issue of union insurance are the two most important factors in his decision on whether he will remain a union member.”
In other words, a teacher would endure paying forced dues to an organization which did not represent his interests or moral values, simply in order to have liability insurance.
This may be difficult to believe, in this day and age, but every word is true. Take the example of Claire Waites, an eighth grade teacher from Right to Work state, Alabama. She recently testified before the U. S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: “I am in the Baldwin County Teachers Association, The Alabama Education Association, and the National Education Association because there was no other carriers for liability insurance for teachers in the state of Alabama.” At least, that was what her union representatives had told her.
Claire Waites is a perfect example of the teacher union liability scam. She is now a member of the non-union, nonpartisan, professional educator group, the Alabama Conference of Educators.
In the world we live in today, teachers can be sued if a child falls down and breaks his arm on the playground. A playground monitor can be sued for not providing the child with a “safe environment” at school.
The use of the membership benefit of liability insurance as a principal organizing tool used by union officials borders on coercion. Teacher union officials count on teachers’ fear of being sued and lack of knowledge about alternative sources of liability insurance, to draw these confused teachers in to union membership. In the absence of a non union alternative, teachers have no choice but to join a teacher labor union in order to feel protected in such a litigious society.
Teaching should be a positive experience that encourages dedicated and competent teachers to make their own personal decisions with regard to union membership, not an anchor by which they will be chained forever to a labor union which may not represent that teacher’s professional and personal interests.
However, teachers have several options open to them, regardless of the state in which they teach. Today, there are 25 independent non union, professional educator groups operating in 27 states and nationwide, which provide ample liability insurance without the forced dues and politics. These groups usually offer twice the liability protection as teacher labor unions do, and other attractions – without the politics, the hierarchy and the high dues price.
Some states already provide teachers with liability insurance when they become employed. Teachers might also contact their insurance agents to determine whether they may purchase individual liability insurance policies.
There are 28 states with Right to Work laws, which do not require teachers to belong to unions: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina and Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
In states where teachers are either required to join the union, or pay an “agency shop” or representation fee, teachers may still obtain liability insurance through the non-union independent groups listed below.
If you have any questions, or have found the union to be unresponsive to your request to resign, or are having trouble getting your dues deduction revoked, please contact The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation for free legal advice.
Check out our Non-Union Professional Educator Groups page to find a professional educator group in your state, or a national group.