MacIver Institute Recognizes Employees’ Freedom to Opt Out of Union Membership

60 Organizations Celebrate National Employee Freedom Week June 23-29

MacIver News Service | June 24, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] The MacIver Institute joined 59 other organizations to recognize National Employee Freedom Week (NEFW), “a national effort to inform union employees about the freedoms they have to opt out of union membership and let them make the decision that’s best for them.”

NEFW is a project of the Nevada Policy Research Institute that started on a small scale in 2012. The Las Vegas based think tank started a campaign last June to inform teachers in Clark County, NV that they had the right to opt out of the Clark County Education Association from July 1-15.

Over 400 teachers sent written requests to the union to opt out.

After the overwhelming success of the campaign, and many thanks from the teachers that were unaware of their rights, the Nevada think tank began a national effort.

In a survey of Wisconsin, the NEFW coaltion found that 42 percent of union households would choose to opt out of their union if there were no penalties.

Though Wisconsin is not a right-to-work state like Nevada, teachers and other union members have the ability to become an agency fee payer or opt-out as a religious or conscientious objector.

An agency fee payer is still a member of the union, but is only required to pay dues that are legally required for the costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment. No union dues would go toward the union’s political activities.

A religious or conscientious objector still is required to have union dues deducted. However, the member can decide to send the dues to a charitable organization of their choosing and is no longer a member of the union.

In both cases, the worker is entitled to every benefit under the labor contract with the employer.

More information about NEFW can be seen here.

National Employee Freedom Week runs from June 23-29, 2013.