Fair Representation & Legal Service Desired -- Not Mandatory Monopoly Bargaining
John Avouris, Puyallup Education Association, claims that Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE) opposes collective bargaining. This is not true. NWPE merely opposes mandatory monopoly bargaining that lacks accountability and distributes assistance on a discriminatory basis.
In 1995, the WEA directed its local education associations to develop criteria for representing local members based on whether the member’s case advanced WEA goals and core values. Many teachers are now discovering that after having paid union dues for years, the union is not always there for them when they need help. This is hardly due process!
The teachers union has violated its fiduciary responsibility to represent all members who are, by the way, required to pay dues to the union in the State of Washington . The fact is that if a teacher is an independent thinker whose case does not advance the union’s political interests, his/her due process rights may be at risk.
NWPE’s liability insurance and job protection benefits for a local attorney’s legal fees are provided through an insurance policy written in the name of the individual member—not our organization. NWPE members, therefore, are assured of independent legal advice focused on their best interests.
Guaranteed legal assistance and the fact that NWPE does not use member dues to promote a far reaching non-education political agenda are reasons why both union and nonunion teachers are joining Northwest Professional Educators.
—Ed Dawson, NWPE President