Not the last point -- a chunk of the dues is passed on to the AFT and NYSUT and the dues we pay here is decided by those Unity Caucus dominated conventions.
I know there are people saying that NYSUT stuff I've been writing about is irrelevant to our struggles to organize the rank and file and that teachers in the schools don't know or care about NYSUT. Ask them to check the pockets as a way to introduce the issue.
A retiree sent this historical note
Hi Norm,Here is the simple point: even though the delegate assembly is still heavy Unity dominated and would vote for WW III if told too, at the very least each and every dues increase should be voted on. And Yes, the dues for working members should be based on a progressive not a regressive structure, as it is for retirees.
This link (http://www.uft.org/our-rights/uft-dues) is to UFT's description of its dues structure. As you can see, there has not been a membership referendum on dues since 1982 and no modification in the calculation of dues has been voted on by the Delegate Assembly since 1999. Of particular note is not only the automatic nature of dues increases, but how they are calculated and how pass throughs from NYSUT and the AFT are also part of an automatic increase regimen. As to the calculated rate for teachers and other inservice groups, why should it be aligned to the salary of a near maximum teacher (i.e. 8B, L20) instead of being a percentage of a person's actual salary? In real terms, the dues paid by a teacher this year of slightly more than $1,200 is a much bigger (and unfair) hit on a beginning teacher in the $45,000 or so range than the maximum teacher approaching $100,000.
And, in case you were not aware of it, retirees pay dues proportionate to their retirement income i.e. at the modest rate of .4 of one percent. As to the passthroughs from the state and national unions, they are voted on at their respective conventions without direct membership approval.