Letters 2 – 7 – 2013

Public Union Agency Fees

I’m writing about this Public Union Agency Fee legislation that’s swiftly moving through state government.

The implication in the bill is that those who choose not to join the union are either cheapskates or opposed to the union’s agenda (as are many teachers I’ve met). In either case it seems to me inappropriate for the legislature to force teachers to contribute to a private quasi-political organization, and especially so in the case of teachers who are opposed to the organization’s agenda.

Moreover, since Vermonters are compelled to pay union-negotiated public school teachers’ salaries, and this new Agency Fee legislation will compel teachers to pay the VT-NEA, the indirect result is to compel the public to pay into the VT-NEA union coffers. How can that possibly be in the interest of voters who are not members of the VT-NEA?

My opposition to the VT-NEA derives from their single-minded quest to eliminate all school choices outside of union control, without regard for our children’s best interests. Due to VT-NEA union politics, for example, Vermont is one of only nine (?) states that makes no provision for charter schools; a situation that excluded us from eligibility for “Race to the Top” funds.

People are right in objecting to this legislation being described in terms of fairness. Another union power grab is more like it. No doubt new agency fees will increase the ranks of VT-NEA lobbyists at the statehouse.

Please feel free to share this with your colleagues.

Jeffrey Pascoe

One thought on “Letters 2 – 7 – 2013

  1. It is ashame groups that started out helping people have become so corrupt. We don’t need groups like the NEA to tell us where our children should go nor take away the types of education they use to receive years ago. Vermonters need to stand up and speak out against the quality of education, the complacency in many teachers and putting too much emphasis on outside curriculum. Sports and art, etc are nice but how many are going on in these areas? The cost of education is rising and the and the students knowledge is dwindling.

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