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WI teacher settles with union over forced dues claim

By   /   February 22, 2013  /   News  /   17 Comments

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON — A former Greenwood High School Spanish teacher has reached a settlement with a local teachers union she claims illegally pulled union dues from her paycheck.

Amy Anaya, who taught at Greenwood during the 2011-12 school year, will receive an undisclosed lump sum payment as a “full and complete settlement” of her Prohibited Practice complaint.

“The parties acknowledge that the purpose of the settlement payment is to resolve all disputed claims asserted by Anaya involving the (Greenwood Education) Association” and the Greenwood School District, the agreement states. In accepting the terms, Anaya releases the union and the district from further obligations or liabilities, and no one in the case admits any wrongdoing.

Amy Anaya and a teachers union have reached a undisclosed settlement in a lawsuit alleging forced unionism

But the teacher’s legal counsel, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which took Anaya’s case for free, is claiming victory in the battle against forced unionism.

“Teacher union bosses and school officials ignored state law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent to illegally coerce this teacher into full dues paying union ranks against her will,” Mark Mix, president of National Right to Work said in a news release.

Mix said the case underscores the importance of Act 10, Wisconsin’s controversial collective bargaining reform law. The act, led by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, strips collective bargaining for most public employees in the state, and allows public employees to opt out of union membership and requisite dues.

Anaya had sought $750, the full cost of the union dues, plus interest. She also demanded the union post signs around the school alerting employees of their rights. That demand does not appear to have been met through the settlement.

Neither Anaya nor a representative for the union could be reached for comment on Friday.

The teacher, hired in the summer of 2011, contested the mandatory membership and dues, but was charged $31.34 per paycheck, full union dues from Sept. 9 until she resigned her teaching position at the end of the school year, according to the complaint Anaya filed last fall.

In the complaint, Anaya claimed the union never told her she didn’t have to join the GEA, that she could object to paying full dues, and that she could pay reduced fees limited to bargaining costs, under the federal Hudson Notice, a 1986 case involving the Chicago Teachers Union. The complaint alleged the union violated law when it “breached its duty of fair representation and coerced and/or intimidated complainant in the enjoyment of her legal rights.”

In September, Anaya told Wisconsin Reporter a union representative demanded that Anaya had to join the union and pay dues.

Jennifer Vogler, administrator of the Greenwood School District, in September said Anaya’s contention was not correct.

Greenwood, like several other school districts, extended its contract with their teachers union before Act 10 went into effect, allowable under law. She provided Wisconsin Reporter a copy of the contract, signed June 21, and in effect between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012.

The administrator said because the contract was extended, and because it did not include the provisions of Act 10, the district’s hands were tied. It had to, based on the labor agreement, automatically deduct dues from Anaya’s paycheck.

“We do not feel there is any merit to this complaint. We do not think anything was done unlawfully,” Vogler said at the time. She described Anaya as an “excellent” educator.

The Right to Work Foundation’s contention was that the extended contract should have fallen under Act 10 because it was implemented after the law went into effect.

Reached for comment Friday, Vogler declined to comment, saying payment was all conducted through the teachers union. She reiterated that Anaya, who is teaching in another Wisconsin school district, “did a fabulous job for us while she was here.”

In her interview with Wisconsin Reporter last fall, Anaya said she didn’t understand the mechanisms of Act 10, or the timing of the school district’s extended contract.

“All I know is that when I got hired I made it clear that I didn’t want to be in a union and pay all of that money where I don’t know where the benefits are going,” she said.

Contact M.D. Kittle at [email protected]


M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison.

  • Thanks Anaya for stepping out and making yourself clear amidst what any teacher knows is a muffling atmosphere. Very underhanded of them to extend the contract in my opinion.

  • Franseenit

    So it is okay that non-union members benefit greatly from all the ongoing efforts by unions to work for fair pay and benefits for all workers. Such cheap people – where do you think your pay scale will be going now that Walker has weakened every law that helps workers maintain some semblance of respect in the workplace?

  • GS1

    @ “Fran”- You union slugs wouldn’t have gotten such a bad rap and a tarnished name had your “brothers and sisters” decided to finally accept some of the financial responsibilities that the rest of the private sector bears. But no- the teachers insisted on full and free health care benefits, double dipping upon retirement, tenure that allows even the worst of teachers to avoid being fired, pension fully paid by the taxpayer…. Only after it became apparent that your union was going to lose the fight with Walker did the teachers finally start claiming that they’re willing to kick in for their H/C and Pension. By then, it was a little too late. You and your union’s time has come- and gone. Your union has little relevance any more, yet you continue to hang on thinking that the more stink you raise, the safer you’ll be. Well, the public ain’t buying it and the sympathy for your cause is eroding- particularly after the circus your brother and sister slugs pulled in Madison. I’m more than familiar with you union types and your claims that without the union, good wages and benefits can’t be had. Everybody get the same pay- whether they deserve it or not. Not so “fair” to those who actually earn their keep.

  • Franseenit

    GS1 – Actually I am not and never have been a union member nor do I have family or friends that are union members. However, a number of the items you listed are inaccurate and have been shouted out by the Walker camp as truth. Therefore, make sure you are honest about the ‘facts’ that your put forth in your comment. Actually, yes, employees across the board have benefited by the efforts of the unions and if you do doubt that you should study up on history, economics etc. it is not hard to see. Once the ALEC group foists this ‘right to work’ (???) crap on all the states just watch the rights of workers go south. I have friends and family that are already experiencing the effects of Walkers lying to the people of Wisconsin – the sooner this jackass is out of office the better we will all be.

  • Pay your dues like you are supposed to and shut up lady. Be happy you are lucky enough to have the protection from a Union.

  • BellsNwhistles

    You GO girl! stay away from all places with Union workers. Her efforts are self destructive. Capitalism without the UNION is slavery.

  • NEWCheesehead

    I’m curious. What items that GS1 posted are inaccurate? What are the lies Walker is making to the people of Wisconsin?

  • NEWCheesehead

    and being forced to pay “dues” to causes you do not believe in is pretty close to “taxation without representation”. Something that instilled a revolution in the hearts of patriots.

  • mypoint02

    Yes – she should just shut up and fork over nearly $800 in income to an organization she does not agree with.

    I thought unions were all about “worker’s rights”. I guess that doesn’t extend to whether or not she wants to be a member and pay dues or not.

  • nellibells

    double dipping is still going on especially in police and fire. All walker is doing is like doyle rob from peter to pay paul just in different areas than doyle.the money he took from public workers is going to go to the mine!the mine group gave him 11mil so in return hes going to give gogebic 171 mil from our budget and they wont have to pay the usual mining taxes because we as wisconsin tax payers will be covering that.hope your still happy with the snake!!!!

  • nickoury

    Crush unions.

  • Don

    If anybody really believes this nut don’t belong to a Union then I got some Prime land in South LA for sale with year round running water.I have had family tied to the Unions for years, the only thing GS1 didn’t bring up was the kick backs to Demarcate Politicians that guarantee wages and benefits 30% higher than non Union no matter if they do a good job or not paid for by Non Union tax payers.

  • Don

    I guess you havent figured out yet that in a Demacate run Country the only rights you got is to fork up money so we can tell you what we think it or who it should be spent on or we are going to shut down the Country and blame it on Bush.

  • oh yea, like being represented by the Mafia! Tim is your typical Union goon with barely a HS education, if that and is a drone repeating what his sugar daddy DemoThugs tell him to say! Unions are for weak minded people who can not think or function on their own! Plus, all the money goes to corrupt DemocRAT politicians as an agreement to steal more from actual hard working tax payers and give it back to their Union Thug rulers!!

  • Franseenit

    Please don’t deny “I told you so…” You really do need to do some serious analysis about how unions affect the work place. By the way, I have had a business for almost 30 years and hired both union and non-union laborers for specific projects – The only businesses that bitch are the ones that expect all the profits for themselves – you know we live in this world together and we must work together for the betterment of EVERYONE. When one segment of society becomes so out of touch everyone will suffer. If your workers can’t afford to buy the products you produce who will you be selling to? Exporting will only last so long. There must be a logical balance for everyone to be successful. Selfishness and greed will destroy our country.

  • Obviousman

    I keep two dozen slaves here in my factory. It’s not illegal, because we have just “extended” their existing pre-1864 contracts. Same logic, huh?

  • Anaya

    The union never had to protect me, and I never asked them to. I am perfectly happy negotiating for my own salary, benefits. And you stand corrected Tim, no one is ‘supposed’ to pay dues. It is a personal choice, uh, isn’t ‘the union’ Pro-choice?