Teachers in the Clark County School District who are still in the Clark County Education Association have the opportunity to leave CCEA between July 1 and July 15.
That’s because of Section 8-4 of the contract between CCSD and CCEA, which states:
Any teacher desiring to have the School District discontinue deductions previously authorized must notify the Association in writing between July 1 and July 15 of each year for the next school year's dues and the Association will notify the District in writing to discontinue the employee's deduction.
From July 1 to 15, most teachers are on vacation, with school-related activities far from their minds.
That’s why it’s important to remind teachers of some of the many reasons their fellow teachers are sending opt-out letters to CCEA.
Reason 1: Union bosses are enriching themselves on teachers’ union dues
As the Las Vegas Review-Journal has detailed, CCEA in 2009 spent more than a third of its $4.1 million budget on just nine of its employees. John Jasonek, then-executive director of CCEA, took home over $625,000 — $205,745 for running the union and $423,863 for simultaneously running two union-affiliated organizations. All the nine employees each took in over $139,000 from CCEA and related organizations.
Even though it’s common for union bosses to arrange fat-cat salaries for themselves, these levels of compensation are in a class of their own. Sandra Miniutti, vice president of Charity Navigator, an organization that evaluates nonprofits, called the CCEA salaries “out of the ballpark,” the Review-Journal reported.
But these exorbitant salaries were not just a one-year aberration. In 2010, Jasonek pocketed $567,545 from CCEA and related organizations.
Paying its top boss over $1.1 million in just two years while teachers were struggling financially clearly shows union bosses’ priorities.
Reason 2: It would save you $773 a year
What does $773 mean to the union? It would pay for .14 percent of the union president’s combined 2010 salaries.
What would $773 mean to you? A mortgage payment? A vacation with your family? Monthly massages to melt away the stress of teaching? Less worry about finances? New shoes and clothing for your children?
Imagine what you would do with an extra $773 a year. You can spend your own money better than union bosses who channel it into their own pockets.
Reason 3: Alternative professional educator associations offer better benefits for less
CCEA tells teachers that a real benefit of joining is a $1 million liability protection policy for teachers. Naturally, teachers like knowing they are protected financially from lawsuits from disgruntled parents.
What teachers often miss, however, is that even better insurance and benefits than CCEA offers are available from national, non-partisan, professional-educator associations. The Association of American Educators is one such organization. For only $15 a month, AAE provides each member a $2 million liability insurance policy, legal protection and supplementary insurance options.
Reason 4: In the last few years, more than 2,100 teachers have left CCEA
Increasingly, teachers are recognizing that the union does not serve their interests. Leaving the CCEA is a growing trend. In 2007, 13,012 teachers were CCEA members. But as of May 30, 2013, only 10,865 of CCSD’s 17,233 teachers were CCEA members.
So, if you’re a teacher who dislikes CCEA union bosses lining their pockets with your dues and who wants to join the thousands of other teachers who have voted with their feet and left, consider opting out.
July 1 to July 15 is the next opportunity for teachers to leave CCEA. You need only send the union written notice at:
Clark County Education Association
4230 McLeod Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89121-5216
To ensure receipt of your letter, we recommend sending it Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested Signature and making and keeping a copy of your letter for your records.
Victor Joecks is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute. For more visit http://npri.org.