Federal Labor Board has now certified majority decertification vote to end AFT union officials’ “representation” at the school

St. Louis, MO (May 30, 2024) – Teachers, advisors, nurses, and other employees at KIPP St. Louis High School are officially free of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 420 union. Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) certified the results of the educators’ May 17 decertification vote in which a majority voted to end AFT union officials’ monopoly bargaining powers at the charter high school.

KIPP teacher Robin Johnston filed a petition to decertify the union on May 2 with NLRB Region 14 in St. Louis using free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. The petition included the signatures of enough employees at the school to trigger the decertification election, resulting in the 19-17 vote against the AFT.

Because Missouri lacks Right to Work protections for its private sector workers (which includes employees at public charter schools like KIPP), union officials have the legal privilege to enforce contracts that force workers to pay union dues or fees to get or keep their jobs. In contrast, in Right to Work states, union membership and union financial support are strictly voluntary.

However, in both Right to Work and non-Right to Work states, union officials in a unionized workplace are empowered by federal law to impose a union contract on all employees in the work unit, including those who oppose the union. The successful decertification vote at KIPP St. Louis High School strips AFT union officials of both their forced-dues and monopoly bargaining powers.

“AFT union officials never stood up for us and instead undermined our students’ success,” stated Johnston. “This was especially on display when union officials called a divisive strike to demand we abandon our classrooms and our students. I’m grateful for my colleagues who have decided to set our school on a better path without the union.”

The KIPP High School educators are not the only charter school employees who have removed unwanted unions with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation. In 2023 in San Diego, CA, employees of Gompers Preparatory Academy prevailed in 2023 after a nearly four-year effort to vote out the San Diego Education Association (SDEA) union, an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA).

“The decision by KIPP High School educators to remove the union from their school isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time charter school employees decide they are better off without teacher union officials,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “The fact is, if it were up to national teacher union bosses at the AFT and NEA, charter schools wouldn’t exist at all. So, it is hardly surprising that the educators at these schools, which provide an alternative to the public schools that are so often under union monopoly control, are choosing to kick out the union officials that oppose their very existence.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in about 200 cases nationwide per year.

Posted on May 30, 2024 in News Releases