Members have asked why annual membership dues for those working full-time rose from $308 last year to $322.50 this year. The increase includes a $10 emergency assessment from each member. The assessment was approved by delegates to the Representative Assembly of ACSUM’s nationwide affiliate, the National Education Association.
Funds raised through this emergency assessment will be used to aid locals in states where the rights of union members are under attack. Maine is one of those states.
The latest attack on Maine labor rights was a bill proposed for the next session of the Legislature by State Senator Ron Collins (R-York County). It would have made payroll deductions for union dues illegal. Thanks to hard work on the part of the Maine Education Association and other labor unions, legislative leadership decided not to bring the bill forward. It is dead for now.
Other pieces of anti-union legislation still show signs of life. One would limit collective bargaining rights of state workers; another would attack Worker’s Comp insurance; and, Governor LePage recently attacked Unemployment Insurance (or as he says, paying people not to work).
We hope that rank-and-file members agree with Dina Goodwin-Short, ACSUM’s elected delegate to the NEA Representative Assembly, that the $10 emergency assessment was a necessary expense.