Before the May 10 Delegate Assembly, I thought I would do a snap poll to find out how the Middle College High School Chapter was feeling about the possibility of leaving the union and not having to pay union dues. The UFT Executive Board had passed a resolution on educating and mobilizing our members on staying in the UFT even if dues are voluntary that was being raised at the DA.
I asked this very simple question to chapter members who I polled individually:
If union dues became voluntary because of an adverse Supreme Court decision and you could receive the same services without being in the union, would you still pay union dues?
All but one teacher said they would stay in the union. I was somewhat pleasently surprised by the results but I should not have been. This was a pretty good sampling size of activist and non-activist teachers. Over and over I heard that we need a union to have decent wages and benefits and we have to pay for that union.
A question that came back was this: We need a union but why does it have to be this one?
It was very difficult to respond to that one. We discussed the moral bankruptcy of our union as it is currently structured, but some were impressed by the services the UFT does provide.
This blog has a wide range of readers who are from the left, center, right and apolitical. Can people ask in a very neutral way the poll question I asked at MCHS at your schools. I would really like to see the results.