Nevada Union Threatens to Sue Over Teachers Informed of Right to Leave

Published July 27, 2012

Union officials in the fifth-largest U.S. school district don’t know how a free-market think tank obtained teachers’ email addresses to send union opt-out information, but they’re filing a lawsuit over it.

Nevada’s Clark County School District teachers can only leave their local union between July 1 and July 15 each year. The Nevada Public Research Institute sent emails to nearly 12,000 teachers informing them of this option.

“Many teachers we’ve talked didn’t know they had rights and options,” said Andy Matthews, NPRI’s president.

The district says it did not provide NPRI a list of all 40,000 district teacher email addresses, as the organization requested in a public records request. CEA officials said the union plans to file a lawsuit against the district for unfair labor practices and will “investigate” the matter internally.

The debate comes at a time of growing discontent with unions nationwide. A recent Harvard University public opinion survey found the number of people who believe unions make a positive contribution to education decreased from 29 percent to 22 percent in the past year.

Image by Ben Grey.