As well they should.
The stink is over teacher Susan Wiggs’ religious objection to the union using her money for their political choices which are nearly exclusively at odds with hers. So she wished to divert her dues to local charity Shared Hope International which rescues girls and young women from the bondage of sex slavery throughout the world. The union didn’t like this choice because, they said officially that it wasn’t locally. The union’s executive director told my producer that their complaint lay in the fact that Shared Hope “cooked its books” and was a group that saw “Christians feeding off Christians.” Yeah, we don’t know what that means, either. Ask the executive director at VEA here.
I’d like to know one thing. Since VEA (affiliated with the NEA) thinks it can dictate that the charity’s work be local only, then can teachers demand the same of the way in which their union dues is used?
Ah…didn’t think so.
In fact here are the numbers. $62.58 per month is taken out of the VEA teachers’ checks over a ten month period of time.
Of that the NATIONAL Education Association receives 19.5%
the WASHINGTON Education Association receives 43%
the VANCOUVER Education Association receives 37.5%
Sounds like there’s a heck of a lot of money that goes out of the area. So what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Why doesn’t all that money stay local?
The VEA is fighting for the objectors’ monies to go to two charities:
The YWCA battered women’s shelter.
The VANCOUVER EDUCATION FOUNDATION (gee, I wonder who administers this charity?)
I want to thank the nice man, Keith Drake, the President of the union for spending time with me on the phone today to go over the numbers.
Here are some sweet nut graphs coming from the Vancouver Daily Columbian (with which I’ve disagreed in the past but in this case agree with whole heartedly).
…It is ridiculous that the union won’t give up control over a small slice of money that doesn’t belong to them in the first place. You’d think this incident might make local, state and national teachers’ unions realize how hypocritical they are. They support causes with which some teachers disagree — using teachers’ mandatory union dues — but when one teacher wants to send her money to a cause the union isn’t jazzed about for whatever reason, it takes away this educator’s individual freedoms yet again.
An end to mandatory unionism in Washington state would solve this problem. An end to spending teachers’ dollars on candidates and ideological issues outside of collective bargaining interests would help. But our legislators continue to ignore the situation and the teachers unions clearly have no incentive to make changes that would dilute the money grab.