National Employee Freedom Week is a coalition of 102 organizations in 42 states.


National Employee Freedom Week is a nationwide campaign offering an unparalleled focus on the freedoms union employees have to opt out of union membership. Featuring a diverse and nonpartisan coalition of state-based and national organizations, National Employee Freedom Week empowers union employees with information to make the decision about union membership that’s best for them, including identifying non-union alternatives that better suit their needs.

History of National Employee Freedom Week

In the summer of 2012, the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a non-partisan think tank based in Las Vegas, launched a small-scale information campaign to let teachers in Clark County, Nev., know that they could opt-out of Clark County Education Association by submitting written notice from July 1 to July 15.

The reaction was stunning. Teachers thanked NPRI for sharing that information. Hundreds of teachers wanted to leave CCEA, each for their own unique reasons, but didn’t know it was possible or forgot because of the narrow and inconvenient drop window. Empowered by the information NPRI shared, over 400 teachers opted out by submitting written notice and over 400 more left CCEA and weren’t replaced by a union member.

National Employee Freedom Week came about, because NPRI realized that there are millions of union members around the country who aren’t able to make the decision about union membership that’s best for them, because they don’t know what options they have.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute and the Association of American Educators spearheaded the inaugural National Employee Freedom Week in 2013, but the week was a success, because 65 non-partisan organizations in 37 states came together to let union members know about the freedoms they have to opt out of union membership and make the decision about union membership that’s best for them. In 2014, NEFW grew to 81 groups in 45 states. In 2015, we saw over 100 groups join the coalition.

NPRI and AAE continue to spearhead National Employee Freedom Week, but in their states and circles of influence, coalition members have taken the lead in empowering employees with the information they need to leave union membership.


Click here for contact information.

Colin Sharkey is the national director for National Employee Freedom Week, and the executive vice president for the Association of American Educators. As the executive vice president of AAE, Colin oversees day-to-day operations of AAE, AAE Foundation, and its growing network of state chapters. To contact Colin, send an email to

Michael Schaus is the executive director for National Employee Freedom Week, and communications director for the Nevada Policy Research Institute. As the communications director for NPRI, Michael is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and the Institute’s membership. To contact Michael, send an email to