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PACE Member Finally Set Free From Paying Union Dues
posted by: Tim | November 19, 2012, 07:55 PM   

About a year ago, PACE was contacted by a new member concerned about the fact that the union was still taking money out of her paycheck, even though she had requested they stop. Little did she know, she was going to be forced to continue letting the union take her money against her will for another year.


Ronda Reinhardt had become a victim of a little known provision that exists in 20 school districts that allow the union to continue extracting dues from a teacher unless they submit a cancellation during a short window of time.

Ronda felt so mistreated by the union that she tried to plead her case to the public in an editorial published online by the Denver Post discussing her situation. Members of the state legislature thought this practice was so unjust that they attempted to pass House Bill 1333, which would have abolished this practice and allowed teachers to cancel payment of union dues at any time. Despite its passing the Colorado House of Representatives, the bill ultimately stalled.

Instead, Ronda was forced to continue paying dues in excess of $60 per month for nearly a year until the window of time rolled around again on November 1, 2013. As if the burden to cancel wasn’t difficult enough, the union insisted that Ronda travel to their office to do it person. Her attempts to cancel over the phone or through e-mail were denied. Once at the office, a union leader appeared to ask her why she was cancelling. After providing her explanations, the union leader tried to convince her that she should feel lucky to be in a state that allows her to cancel at all. You see, many states require the payment of union dues if you want to be a teacher.

Ronda didn’t feel lucky. She felt like she had been taken advantage of by the very group that purports to be looking out for the interests of teachers.

“One can’t help but feel like all they are interested in is your money,” she said after the experience.

Ronda is finally free from paying union dues, but unfortunately the union’s ability to use these policies to curtail teacher freedoms remains. And while the union leader was wrong about Ronda feeling lucky, she was right to point out that the injustice experienced by teachers in Colorado is less than the injustice felt in forced unionism states where teachers can never cancel; but neither practice is justifiable.

Do you think the unions should be allowed to do this?

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