Last week, we reported on the NJEA’s efforts (via the Wayne EA) to have the NJ Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) order the Wayne school district to censor Sunlight’s emails to teachers informing them of their 1st Amendment rights. We read PERC’s ruling rejecting motions for summary judgement from both sides and found some revealing information.
- WEA falsely claims to PERC that Sunlight’s emails contain falsehoods and lies. The WEA claimed that Sunlight’s emails were “full of falsehoods and lies about our organization” and “filled with false and distorted information.” This is false. Everything in Sunlight’s emails is factual. Everything. In the example cited by WEA, Sunlight speaks to teachers’ $1,500 dues paying “for six-figure salaries for NJEA execs …” This is a true and factual statement, as we documented in our recent research report. The facts show that it is the WEA that is making false claims about Sunlight to PERC. We hope — and expect — that PERC will see through this.
- The Wayne school district seems to confirm that Sunlight’s emails are factual. The Wayne superintendent replied to the WEA that censoring Sunlight’s emails would be legally problematic, and “especially difficult and problematic if the information being shared is mostly accurate.” Bravo for the superintendent discerning that the content of our emails was accurate!
- NJEA keeps teachers in the dark about their rights and how their dues are spent. The WEA provides an example of a teacher “who wanted to know whether certain claims from [Sunlight’s] emails were true.” Clearly, the teacher did not know about the facts presented by Sunlight. Until our email arrived, the NJEA had succeeded in keeping this teacher — along with many other teachers — in the dark.
- Once informed by Sunlight of the facts, many Wayne teachers are choosing to stop paying dues. The same teacher certifies that since the Sunlight email campaign began “she has noticed far fewer members have chosen to enroll in the [NJEA], and the net result has been a decline in membership.” When teachers find out the truth about their rights and how their dues are spent, many choose to stop paying dues.
So here’s what we’ve learned from the PERC ruling: the WEA has resorted to false claims to try to get PERC to censor Sunlight; the NJEA has kept teachers in the dark; and once informed of the truth by Sunlight’s emails, many teachers are choosing to stop paying dues. All of which confirms that Sunlight is doing the right thing by providing teachers with the facts and enabling them to make the best decisions for themselves.