Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions about resigning your union membership:
After I resign, will I still be subject to union discipline?
Will the union still represent me in all matters pertaining to collective bargaining?
Yes. The union is legally obligated to represent nonunion employees without discrimination in all matters related to collective bargaining.
Will I be denied any benefits if I leave the union?
Nonmember teachers are still entitled any benefits outlined in the collective bargaining agreement with their employer. However, the union’s bylaws or constitution may provide for certain other benefits that are only available to union members. It is only in the area of internal union affairs, including benefits that are not paid for by the employer under the collective bargaining agreement, that the union can lawfully discriminate against nonmembers. This may include pension and insurance rights that are only paid for by union members with their dues.
What about losing union-provided professional liability insurance?
Teachers can purchase high quality liability insurance through the Association of American Educators without belonging to a union. AAE membership costs only $15 per month and covers insurance and other benefits. Click here for a comparison with coverage offered through the union.
Am I taking advantage of the union by not being a member while still enjoying the benefits of collective bargaining?
No. Most, if not all, nonmembers don’t want the union to represent them in the first place. Moreover, as an agency fee payer, you will still be required to pay the portion of union dues that go to collective bargaining expenses as determined by the Illinois Labor Relations Board and the Illinois courts. However, you will no longer be paying for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as political activism.
I have a religious objection to supporting the union’s agenda. Should I follow the instructions provided on this website?
No. Teachers with sincere religious objections to affiliating with a union must undergo a different process to assert their rights. The National Right to Work Foundation provides free legal aid to religious objectors, and we encourage you to contact us for assistance via our website. Be sure to explain that your objection to supporting the union is religious in nature.
I have more questions about resigning from a union. Is there someone I can talk to?
Yes. The National Right to Work Foundation’s toll-free legal hotline is 800-336-3600. We encourage you to call us with any questions you might have about leaving a union. Be sure to explain that you are an Illinois public school teacher who was referred to us through this website.