National Right to Work Foundation National Right to Work Foundation Releases Special Legal Notice for Public School Teachers in Minneapolis and St. Paul Ahead of Strike

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Public educators have the right to rebuff requests from union officials to drop students, also have the right to stop all dues deductions

Minneapolis, Minnesota (March 7, 2022) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation issued a special legal notice to teachers and other public school staff in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which union officials from the Minnesota Teachers’ Federation (MFT), the St. Paul Educators’ Federation (SPFE) and other unions called the strike beginning March 8. MFT and SPFE are affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union.

The legal notice informs rank and file teachers and other school employees of rights that teachers’ union bosses won’t let them know about, including their right to refuse to drop out of their students and continue working to support themselves. the needs of their families despite the union-ordered strike. The notice explains why workers across the country frequently turn to the National Right to Work Foundation for free legal help in such situations.

“This situation raises serious concerns for public educators in Minneapolis and St. Paul who believe there is much to lose from a union boss-ordered strike and do not want their students to fall behind,” indicates the opinion. “Employees have the legal right to reject union officials’ strike demands, but it is important that they are fully informed before doing so.”

The full notice is available at https://www.nrtw.org/mft-strike-legal-notice/.

The notice outlines the process educators in Minneapolis and St. Paul must follow if they want to exercise their right to resign their union affiliation and return to work during the strike while avoiding punishment from union bosses. The notice also contains links to sample union membership resignation letters.

Notice Reminds Educators of Their First Amendment Right, Under 2018 Foundation Won Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision to cut off all union dues payments. In janusthe High Court has recognized that public sector employees such as public educators cannot be compelled to pay union dues or fees to obtain or retain employment, and that union officials cannot deduct union dues or fees from checks payroll of public employees only with their affirmative consent.

The Foundation won a victory last week for a Los Angeles-area public teacher who was the target of Janus rights violations by California Teachers Association (CTA) officials. Natalie Bahl, a teacher at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, sent a letter to union and school officials exercising her Janus right to stop union deductions, only to find out later that school administrators were still taking dues from her salary at the request of the bosses of the CTA. After Foundation staff lawyers sent a letter threatening legal action if the illegally taken funds were not returned to Bahl, CTA officials backed down and refunded the ill-gotten money.

“Educators in Minneapolis and St. Paul need to know that they have an unequivocal right to reject strike orders from union bosses and continue to work to ensure their students don’t fall behind,” commented Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “The last two years have been marked by particularly aggressive political politics by key teachers’ union bosses across the country, in particular AFT President Randi Weingarten, which has led to long-lasting restrictions and tough on public education. With that in mind, public school workers are right to question whether this strike is truly what’s best for children, teachers, and the community as a whole.

“Basic educators should immediately contact the Foundation for free legal assistance if they believe union officials may be violating their legal rights,” Mix added.

The National Workplace Legal Defense Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by abuses of compulsory unionism. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees with approximately 250 cases nationwide per year.

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