Why Teachers Unions May Not Represent You or Your Beliefs


    An excellent example of what sort of world view is promoted by California’s teachers unions is a video produced by the California Federation of Teachers and promoted by the California Teachers Association. Narrated by ideologue Ed Asner, and laced with clichés and stereotypes, the video explains how wealthy individuals are responsible for the economic challenges facing working families in California. The video even included a segment where a cartoon caricature of a rich person stood atop a pile of money and urinated onto the heads of ordinary workers. This segment was later removed after a public outcry – here it is:



    The California Teachers Association is the biggest political spender – by far – in CA. In 2009-2009 alone they spent over $211 million on candidates and causes. As the following quotes show, they readily acknowledge this:

    • Former CTA Executive Director Carolyn Doggett “You bet we’re (CTA) going to play in politics. And we’re going to play to win.
    • Former CTA president Wayne Johnson “Teacher organizations are political organizations.”
    • Carolyn Doggett “The news media call CTA “powerful,” the “800 pound gorilla” and the “relentless political machine.” I proudly wear those terms as a badge of courage. They speak to the strength of this organization, the power of collective action and the tenacity of teachers.”
    • Carolyn Doggett, “Over the years, I have given countless speeches on why politics matter to us as educators and union members. And today I’m going to give you one more. Because as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of CTA, we must remember that we were founded for one reason…and one reason only…and that was to engage in politics.”

    Even if you support the political agenda of the teachers unions, do you want your dues being spent on issues that have nothing to do with education? Think how you would feel if CTA spent your dues money only on conservative non-educational causes. And if you don’t agree with their political agenda, why would you tolerate these unions using your dues to advance it? Here are examples of the teachers union’s political agenda:

    • CTA recently backed a measure that would expand healthcare coverage to all Californians through a “single payer” system.
    • CTA backed AB 1266. This bill, just signed into law, requires that a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, activities, and facilities, including athletic teams and competitions, consistent with his or her perceived gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records. In other words, if a boy thinks he’s a girl, he gets to play on female sports teams, use the girls’ bathroom, shower, etc.
    • The CTA gave well over a million dollars to fight Prop. 8, which would have provided that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
    • CTA is for unrestricted abortion. Former CTA Executive Director Carolyn Doggett: “In California, and with the support of CTA, we have fought back three attempts to curtail a woman’s right to choose, including measures that would have endangered the lives of teenage girls. Currently, California is one of only 10 states that have no additional restrictions on reproductive health.”

    For further information on CTA political spending, reference this link from FollowTheMoney.org:


    “The teachers unions are the main reason why the quarter-century-long movement to reform this nation’s schools has been such a disappointment.” – Terry Moe )

    “Current laws force administrators to ignore teacher quality in all personnel decisions. Quality-blind laws force administrators to knowingly place grossly ineffective teachers in front of students every year, and push effective teachers out of California’s classrooms, causing devastating long-term harm to the children arbitrarily assigned to the classrooms of teachers who persistently under-perform.” – Students Matter (http://studentsmatter.org/dev/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/dismissal-process.png)    

    “In 1991, the CTA took to the ramparts again to combat Proposition 174, a ballot initiative that would have made California a national leader in school choice by giving families universal access to school vouchers. When initiative supporters began circulating the petitions necessary to get it onto the ballot, some CTA members tried to intimidate petition signers physically. The union also encouraged people to sign the petition multiple times in order to throw the process into chaos. “There are some proposals so evil that they should never go before the voters,” explained D. A. Weber, the CTA’s president. One of the consultants who organized the petitions testified in a court declaration at the time that people with union ties had offered him $400,000 to refrain from distributing them. Another claimed that a CTA member had tried to run him off the road after a debate on school choice.” – Troy Senik (http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_2_california-teachers-association.html)

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    The California Policy Center has created this resource to collect and distribute educational material of use to any unionized employee who wants to exercise their rights, starting with teachers. This page currently provides information for members of the CTA. Members of the UTLA or CFT seeking information on their rights are encouraged to call the California Teachers Empowerment Network at 888-290-8471, or send an email to cteninfo@ctenhome.org. The CPPC encourages members of California’s public sector unions to share information that can be posted here. This information is not widely available.