My letter to the Mackinac Center. Feel free to share/copy, etc. But if you get a postcard, SEND IT BACK!
To the Mackinac Center for Public Policy:
First I just have to say, your name is laughable. From what I can see, you are as concerned about the “public” as the spider is for the welfare of the fly. You see the public—common people—like teachers and their unions, as a nuisance. You represent predatory business and political entities that care little for the general public.
I received your postcard in the mail today and I found myself asking these questions: Why do you care if I am in a union or not? Why would you bother to try and convince me to “opt-out”? Why waste all of that time and money on convincing little old me to opt-out of my union? And these questions led me to the real question: What are you so afraid of??
I must admit (if I were an uneducated moron), the postcard would have been well done. I especially love the condescending manner in which you assume all teachers spend the summer at the “ballpark” or at “the lake.” Yes, because all of us are rolling in wealth and own summer homes on various lakes around the state. I think you have teachers confused with YOUR membership.
I also appreciate the way in which you make it seem like having only one month (August) to opt out is some type of trick or conspiracy. You know very well that MOST associations and clubs have an opt-out window (insurance companies are another example). MEA, like these other groups, makes budgets based on a year’s membership. It is perfectly acceptable and is accepted practice to have an opt-out window, and you know it.
And as for that dig about what I would do with that extra $1000 next summer? Those dues protect me from incompetent administrators and unfair labor practices. They ensure that I am protected if someone doesn’t like what I teach or how I teach it—even if I follow curriculum, and yes, that actually happens. Those dues help me help my fellow members, especially my youngest members, who need protections the most. So, I know one thing I wouldn’t do and that is I certainly wouldn’t sell my soul to the likes of you for a measly $1000.
I have been a PROUD union member for all 16 years of my career. My local has stood by my colleagues and by me. We have fought for our students and for the welfare of our membership. We actually care about education and our students, unlike your organization, which only cares about beating teachers down and blaming them for all of the (real or imagined) problems in education.
You seem to be forgetting (or just grossly underestimating) the fact that teachers are SMART. We know when we are being manipulated, and we know how to do our research, read the fine print, and see through deceptions.
I am an educator. I am a union member. And I will NEVER give up on either.
Take me off all of your mailing lists.
Cara LougheedTeacherProud REA, MEA, NEA Member