William Ray Arthur has taught several subjects, including civics, history and physical education in the Public Schools of Petoskey school district since 1979. In a letter dated September 16, 2013, Arthur told the president of the Petoskey Education Association that “ … I do not want to be a member of the union.” Unfortunately, according to Arthur his union president told him he had missed the “August Window.”
In 34 years, Arthur says he was never told of an “August Window,” meaning a specific time period where teachers have the right to opt out of the union.
Arthur expressed that the union contracts made no mention of an August Window. He was told by the same president that information on the resignation window is not available except upon request.
Arthur says, “What I really expected was a handshake for 34 years of union dues and saying that they were sorry that I was leaving the union and if I changed my mind this is how I could get back in. Not, “you owe me legally six months of union dues and if I don’t pay it, then that might affect some credit or I might get a phone call about legal action or taking me to court and suing me for the legal fees in addition to my union dues. I don’t expect that kind of treatment.”
As an educator, Arthur feels the standards he’s held to and the expectations he has for his union representative should be the same: Provide the necessary information so that the student – or union member – can make an educated decision.
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