To the editor:
Patrick Germond (Sept. 25) has misinformed the voters.
I am a teacher, and I proudly belong to the Moffat County Education Association (MCEA), a group of school district employees (teachers and support staff). MCEA is my union. More that 80 percent of district employees belong to MCEA. Membership is voluntary. No one is forced to belong. In a few sister locals across Colorado, nonmembers pay a membership fee if they do not sign an opt-out form. But no one is forced to belong to our association.
We have joined with firefighters, police officers, and health care workers across our state to oppose Amendment 47, along with Amendments 49 and 54, for a very simple reason: They will silence our voices as public employees on our salaries and benefits, retirement, school funding, class size, CSAP, and all the things that we educators care about.
I am proud that MCEA and our state affiliate, the Colorado Education Association, have successfully stood up for public school employees for many decades in Colorado. People who are not pro-public education and do not agree with our positions on education want to interfere with our contract negotiations with the school board. They want to make it harder for us to join, work together, and advocate for our interests and those of our students by taking away my personal choice to pay my union dues through my paycheck.
The people who are behind these ballot issues want to silence public school employees' voices. It's that simple. These people and these issues attack my choice and my voice. I plan to vote NO on 47, 49 and 54, and I urge Moffat County citizens to join me in rejecting these amendments.
Steamboat Springs, teaches in Craig