Oklahoma Governor Stitt Takes Stand to Protect Teachers’ Paychecks and Their Right to Reject Union Membership

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—Gov. Kevin Stitt today urged the Oklahoma State Board of Education to ensure school employees’ rights are protected under state and federal law and that they are informed of their First Amendment right to decide whether to pay a union.

This executive action is the first step in ensuring that teachers are notified about their First Amendment rights regarding union membership and that those rights are protected. Implementing this order allow teachers to make an informed decision whether to pay union dues, especially as some of the dues Oklahoma teachers pay are sent out-of-state to fund political causes that may not align with their personal values.

Gov. Stitt has urged the State Board of Education to take action to:

  • Inform school employees that they have a First Amendment right to join, refrain, or withdraw from joining and paying dues to a labor union
  • Ensure that membership and payment of dues are voluntary and schools have informed consent from their employee before deducting dues
  • Ensure that school districts are complying with state and federal law in regards to school employees First Amendment rights and that the requirements of these laws are satisfied annually.

“Teachers should know they have the freedom to opt-in not opt-out of unions,” said Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.

“This is another step in the right direction to focus our classrooms on parents, teachers and kids,” said Secretary of Education Ryan Walters.

“We applaud the governor for taking this first step in ensuring that Oklahoma teachers’ paychecks are protected, and we encourage the State Board of Education to quickly take action and implement Gov. Stitt’s recommendations,” said Workers for Opportunity Senior Policy Advisor Vincent Vernuccio.

“With this executive action, Gov. Stitt proves that he is unwaveringly committed to ensuring that teachers' constitutional freedoms are recognized and respected,” said Lindsay Killen, vice president for strategy for the Workers for Opportunity initiative. “Teachers deserve to walk into their classrooms this fall knowing that they will not lose benefits or face retribution simply because they chose to opt-out of supporting union agendas that conflict with their values and beliefs.”

Workers for Opportunity is a national initiative of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. WFO’s goal is to advance and protect employee freedoms across the country, ensuring that states recognize and respect workers’ First Amendment rights.

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