The N.C. Association of Educators, one of the leading teacher advocacy groups in the state, is hitting back against the state’s latest attempt to revoke the group’s ability to deduct dues from members’ payroll checks.
NCAE President Rodney Ellis, a frequent critic of the N.C. General Assembly’s education policies, accused the Office of the State Controller of acting in a partisan manner when the office demanded the group provide membership information or risk losing their clearance for payroll deductions, WRAL reported.
Today, Ellis and company fought back.
From Ellis’ statement:
“NCAE has always been willing to work with the State Auditor to provide appropriate membership information while maintaining the constitutional rights and interests of our members and Association. Singling out NCAE for a separate verification process is retaliatory and politically motivated by some in the General Assembly to intimidate teachers and other educators from advocating for students and public schools. Instead of focusing on this issue, lawmakers should be tackling real issues like respecting educators, paying them professional salaries, and making sure classrooms have the resources to help our students be successful.”
The NCAE has fought a bitter battle with GOP leadership to retain their dues-paying system in the last five years. The most recent challenge comes from State Controller Linda Combs’ office, which is asking for membership verification by Feb. 1 to prove that the group meets the 40,000-member threshold needed to continue deducting dues from paychecks under state law.
According to the NCAE, the group counts 70,000 members in its ranks.
Combs is a Republican appointee of Gov. Pat McCrory.
Here is a copy of the NCAE’s official response to Combs’ office.