1) Before you can opt out of paying dues for union politics and other activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, you have to resign from the union.
The decision to resign is yours alone. In addition to reducing your financial obligations to the union, nonmember teachers are not subject to union rules and discipline. If you choose to resign, the union will have to continue to represent you fairly in all matters related to collective bargaining, and you cannot be denied any benefits under the labor contract with your employer because you’re not a member of the union.
However, nonmembers do not have the right to vote on the ratification of a contract between the union and your employer or the election of union officers, representatives, or delegates. There may be other benefits provided under the union’s constitution or bylaws that are not available to nonmembers. If you have concerns about your status as a nonmember, we encourage you to check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.
The decision to leave a union must be made by you. The information provided on this website does not advocate resigning or remaining in the union. It is only intended to explain your legal and constitutional right to pay less and not support the union’s politics.
2) Once you’ve made the decision to resign and opt out of dues unrelated to workplace bargaining, you need to submit a letter announcing your decision to your employer and the union.
To automatically generate a letter for resigning from a union and opting out of dues unrelated to workplace bargaining, click here. We encourage you to use this form to simplify the resignation process. Once you’ve submitted your information and created your letter, you’ll find detailed instructions explaining how to proceed.
You should check with the union to see if it has a policy concerning when and to whom resignation/objection letters should be submitted. You should send a copy of your resignation/objection letter to the union, its state affiliate, and to your employer. You should also keep an additional copy for your own records.
Although your automatically-generated letter will state that your objection to paying full union dues is continuing and permanent, some unions will not honor this and will make you annually renew your objections. You should check with the union to determine if there is an annual renewal policy for dues objectors.
If you have any questions about filling out your resignation/dues objection letter, contact the National Right to Work Foundation. Our staff attorneys can walk you through the resignation process step-by-step.
3) After you’ve submitted your resignation/dues objection letter, you should contact the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation immediately.
The National Right to Work Foundation provides free legal assistance to employees nationwide, including public school teachers. Our team of staff attorneys can help you maximize your dues refund and ensure you’re not being charged for any union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as political activism. If a union ignores or refuses to honor your resignation/dues objection letter, Foundation staff attorneys can also help you assert your rights. But you can only take advantage of our free legal aid program if you contact the Foundation directly.
The National Right to Work Foundation’s toll-free hotline is 800-336-3600. You can also request legal assistance on this website. Be sure to explain that you’re a public school teacher who wishes to resign from a union and opt out of dues unrelated to workplace bargaining.