Do the Benefits of Collective Bargaining Include Giving Up a $10,000 Bonus?

by Mike Antonucci │Friday, March 9th, 2018


This post was originally appeared at Education Intelligence Agency and is republished here with permission.


“At issue in Janus v. AFT is whether non-union members, who share in the wages, benefits and protections that have been negotiated into a collectively bargained contract, may be required to pay their fair share for the cost of those negotiations.” – from a January 18, 2018 National Education Association press release.

New Mexico is a unique state for teacher unions and agency fees. State law makes agency fees a “permissive subject of bargaining” but does not require them. At last check, NEA had no agency fee-payers in New Mexico. I don’t know about AFT.

But for the moment let’s suppose you were an exemplary New Mexico teacher paying agency fees to your exclusive bargaining agent. Then you read this:

This week, Gov. Susana Martinez signed off on a budget bill that provides for $5,000 and $10,000 bonuses for exemplary teachers in New Mexico. And while she used her line-item veto authority to strike the language giving teachers unions the ability to decide whether the school districts and charter schools they represent will participate, one union leader says her group might still be able to block the bonuses by invoking their collective bargaining rights under state law.

NEA-NM President Betty Patterson says “school employees can rest assured our local associations will use negotiations to locally determine whether their district will go forward with this wildly unpopular ‘merit pay’ program that undermines collaboration among school teams.

So your choices are simple: Don’t pay the fee and lose your job, or pay the fee and lose $10,000.

Oh, and they call you a freeloader.


 
 

Mike Antonucci - Writer & Researcher

Mike is the director of the Education Intelligence Agency and has covered the education beat since 1993. Education Week called him “the nation’s leading observer — and critic — of the two national teachers’ unions and their affiliates.” Mike’s writings have appeared in The Wall Street JournalForbesInvestor’s Business DailyThe American Enterprise, and many other periodicals, and his work has been favorably cited in the Washington PostBoston GlobePhiladelphia InquirerNew York Post, and a host of other prominent daily newspapers.