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Local teacher struggles to get out of union

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Posted at 11:44 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2019-01-22 12:26:05-05

A Robison Middle School teacher is trying to get out of the teacher’s union, but finding that it is easier said than done.

Cindy Robertson says she is fed up with the Clark County Education Association.

"Why are you charging union size dues? It is $780 plus per year out of my paycheck if you are not going to come and speak with me when I need some assistance," Robertson said. "They've always told me they just do contracts. That they are just a collective bargaining unit."

The middle school teacher says she has wanted to get out of the union for years, but the withdrawal period falls during summer vacation when she is out of town.

According to the contract between CCEA and the Clark County School District, teachers can only withdraw from the union by submitting a written letter between July 1 and July 15.

"This year I made sure I had the letter ready ahead of time, and I mailed it to make sure I didn't miss the window," Robertson said.

She dropped the letter in the mail in mid-June and then left for her trip on July 2.

When she returned on the July 16, she had a letter in her mailbox from CCEA.

"Just as the window was opening they mailed me back a letter telling me I would have to redo the letter or come in before the 15th," Robertson said.

She got that letter the day after the window closed and says she tried calling to ask for leniency.

"They were adamant that they weren't going to and that I missed the window," Robertson said.

"They absolutely insisted that I could mail my letter from anywhere in the world and I could try again next year."
 
13 Action News has reached out to the CCEA several times over the past week through email, phone calls and office visits.

All of our requests have been ignored.

Now to the obvious question of why didn’t she mail the letter on July 1 as she was heading out of town.

"I didn't think that would be the issue. I was worried I would forget because I was trying to get packed to leave," Robertson said. "As far as I was concerned, what does it matter the postmark on an envelope. You open an envelope, you throw the envelope away, the letter says July 1.“

While she knows she will have to bite the bullet and pay the hundreds of dollars in union dues for the 2016-2017 school year, Robertson says it will be a different story next year.

"Now I'm going to encourage other people that are unhappy with the union. I am going to teach them how to write the form letter so they can do it too," Robertson said.