The teachers’ union representing the Douglas County school system has lost one-quarter of its membership, signaling a growing frustration within the ranks that dues are used to finance politics instead of professional development.
The significant drop in membership of the Douglas County Federation (DCF) was revealed in a July 21 letter from two board members to Courtney Smith, union president, and was based on the union’s most recently released tax returns.
The letter pointed to the drop in membership as undeniable proof that teachers had chosen the district over the union and the need for major changes within the organization.
The letter called for union leaders to “unequivocally reject” five financial practices, including the use of dues for elections and a means of political leverage on the board, demands the district pay dues without providing a return of services, and failing to use union funds for professional teacher development.
“You should strongly stand for not pulling money out of the classroom to run a union,” said the letter signed by Kevin Larsen, board president, and Doug Benevento, vice president. Read more »