As your UniServ Director, I wanted to reach out and personally address the payroll deduction alerts you have been receiving from MNEA. I apologize ahead of time for the lengthy message.
What is going on?
House Bill 1891 was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives several months ago by Rep. Holly Rehder (SE MO). It has since been passed in both the House and the Senate.
In March, Governor Nixon vetoed HB 1981 - which is good news for our members. However, our team in Jefferson City has reported in recent days that it looks like the House and Senate may have enough votes to override this veto. If this happens, HB 1891 will be the law of our land on August 28, 2016.
In short, this bill proposes to eliminate the payroll deduction process for Association dues as we know it. No longer will you be able to practice your rights to membership in a non-burdensome way by electing to send your dues easily and seamlessly from your paycheck.
Instead, you will be faced with hurdles to continuing your membership on a regular basis, including requirements that you either re-authorize your membership annually or switch your payment method entirely (relying on use of a private debit/credit card or electronic funds transfer from your bank account). Additionally, your local will be required to submit intensive financial reporting data on a regular basis.
For those of you who currently pay dues through private means, and not payroll deduction, the potential veto override of this bill does not stand to directly impact you. However, for the vast majority of our members who rely on payroll deduction, HB 1891 is designed to complicate your life with unnecessary bureaucratic hoops, all designed to make it harder for YOU to practice your right to membership.
Where are we now?
At this time, the veto override vote for HB 1891 has not yet been held, and there is hope that when it is held, it will not prevail. If that is the case, your current method of paying dues will go untouched, whether you pay privately or through payroll deduction.
However, our concern is that the veto override of HB 1891 will prevail. If it does, you will no longer remain a member of the Missouri NEA unless you (1) reauthorize your desire to deduct dues from payroll or (2) change your payment method entirely.
Our management team in Jeff City has decided we must take action now. As such, we are trying to educate our members about HB 1891 and empower you to continue your membership in alignment with the potential new legal requirements.
You currently have two choices:
(1) Re-Authorize or Switch Payment Methods NOW:
You can choose to proactively address the threat HB 1891 poses to your membership by either re-authorizing your choice to withdraw dues from payroll deduction or (2) switch your payment method to withdraw dues from a private account.
Currently, you should be receiving notices (emails and phone calls) from MNEA inviting you to take one of these two steps. Please let me know if that is not the case if you are interested in taking this step.
(2) Wait and See:
You can also choose to wait and see. As noted above, we are not in a true crisis at this time but are preparing for one on the horizon. If the veto override does not prevail, no change is needed in your current membership practice.
However, if the veto override does prevail, I most certainly will be reaching out to you again to let you know that - sadly - the issue of whether you are able to continue practicing choice over this issue is no longer possible. We will need you to take some additional steps to ensure your membership is safe.
Please don't hesitate to call our office or email directly if you are having more questions/concerns over HB 1891: 417.869.5090 and Anne.Smith@mnea.org
Thank you in advance for your support. Please know that we are fighting to support you and your right to membership through this as well.