As I mentioned earlier, I failed to withdraw my membership earlier this year.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, each year there is a window from Aug. 1-Sept. 1 in which membership can be withdrawn.  Unfortunately, I didn’t meet with my local Association president until Sept 6—five days past the deadline. 

            He called me into his office, and I voiced my request to withdraw my membership.  He politely asked me why—which was what I was afraid of—and asked if there was anything he could do to correct the situation.  I told him that there were some political reasons (that was against my better judgment; I should have kept my mouth shut about that), but more importantly, financial reasons.  With three small children at home, a brand new vehicle to accommodate them, and the likelihood that I would be RIF’d again at the end of the year, I felt that my $720 of dues would be greatly beneficial in preparing for a probable job loss.  Oddly, he gave me the name of a teacher and told me to contact her.  When I did, she acted surprised that he would suggest her name but told me to write a letter expressing my intent and then submit it back to the association president to be presented to the executive board.  I asked when the next executive board meeting was, and she told me it was at the end of the month.  So, I did what she suggested.

            Once September had passed and I still hadn’t heard anything, I contacted the president once again.  He met with me and told me that the executive board decided not to allow my withdrawal, asking, “Your reasons were mainly politically, right.  I asked if he had shown them my letter, and he replied, “Well, no.” WHAT?  He hadn’t shown them my letter? I explained to him that my letter mentioned nothing about politics but did focus strictly on finances.  His reply was, “Oh, well, here’s how I try to explain it to others,”—so there have been others, huh? —“Let’s say you get that $720 back.  The government’s going to take what, $400 of it in taxes?  That leaves you with $300, but the discounts you can get with your membership more than make up for that $300.”

            I guess like a brainless little puppet I was supposed to just accept that and walk away.  Well, I did say thank you and walk away, but I didn’t accept it.  His little explanation was great and all, except for the fact that it was a LIE!  That $700 dollars in dues would not be taxed!  It’s my money that I’m paying to the union after taxes.  It’s withdrawn from my paycheck just like all my taxes each week.  And even if it were taxed, the government wouldn’t take over 50 percent of it! But, he sure did make it sound good, didn’t he?  Great manipulation tactic.  I’m not happy about the fact that he just threw away my letter, and I am certainly not happy that he thought I was stupid.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just one more reason why I don’t trust my teachers union.