Three more days

Andy Matthews

Every week, NPRI President Andy Matthews writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

Three more days

As followers of NPRI’s work know, we’ve devoted considerable effort in recent weeks to publicizing the fact that Nevada teachers have the option to leave their union if they wish to do so.

Regrettably, their chance to do so is limited. The timeframe and requirements for leaving the union vary slightly by county, but in just about all cases, this year’s window closes this coming Monday, July 15.

Last year, after NPRI took the lead in informing Clark County teachers of their choices regarding union membership, the Clark County Education Association saw its membership drop by more than 800 teachers. Union leaders, of course, howled, accusing us of “bashing teachers” and describing our efforts as “union busting at its finest.” And I personally received some emails from pro-union types that contained language not appropriate for reprinting here.

So naturally, this year, we’re at it again. Except this time, we’ve taken our campaign statewide.

It’s pretty telling that union leadership feels so threatened by the idea of their own members knowing their options. While the unions do so much to make it difficult for teachers to opt out, all we at NPRI have done is provide teachers with information. We want to empower teachers with the facts, and we think they ought to be trusted to make the decision that’s best for them. And to the union brass, this is offensive and dangerous.

Here’s something for these union leaders to ponder: Might your condescending attitude toward and infantilization of your own members be a contributing factor in why so many want to leave? Just a thought.

Regardless, the window to opt out does exist, and we’re continuing to highlight this fact right up until the end. And you can, too. If you know a teacher who’s a union member, forward this email along and help that teacher make the decision on union membership that’s best for him or her. The window is closing fast, but it’s not closed yet!

For convenience’s sake, included below are county-specific opt-out letters to help teachers through the process:  

School district Yearly dues Link to opt-out letter
Carson City $618.60 Link
Churchill County $635.04 Link*
Clark County $773.88 Link
Douglas County $711.00 Link*
Elko County $624.00 Link*
Esmeralda County ** Link*
Eureka County $606.24 Link*
Humboldt County $577.44 Link*
Lander County $696.00 Link
Lincoln County $552.00 Link*
Lyon County $624.00 Link
Mineral County $300.00 Link*
Nye County $599.28 Link
Pershing County $628.44 Link*
Storey County $720.00 Link
Washoe County $710.76 (avg.) Link
White Pine County $600.00 Link

* letters must be sent to the school district and the union
** school district did not provide yearly dues amount by publishing deadline

Oh, by the way, a lot of you wrote to tell me that you really enjoyed last week’s column, in which I talked about the new additions to the NPRI family and how they’ve served as nice reminders of why the work we do at NPRI is so important. I want to thank you most sincerely for your kind words. I get a lot of email, so I’m not able to respond to all of it, but please know that your feedback is always appreciated.

Take care, and have a great weekend!

Andy Matthews
NPRI President

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