National Education Association: Hoisted on Its Own Petard?
Guest Post is a occasional feature at the watercooler… if you’d like to post a piece please email it to me, and I will put post it. Same rules apply as to the cooler contributors. You have to be a real person, no screen names… and it’s got to be watercooler topical. – Ed
Special thanks to Mike Antonucci for his watchdog work on the machinations of the country’s biggest teacher’s union. The National Education Association (NEA Union), in all of its DC grandness, has created a fund to “educate” new members of Congress. The latest New Deal from this Old Guard spent $1 million for their most recent creation from its members’ dues and the forced fees extracted for educators who neither voted for nor want the ‘representation’ from this monopolist.
The irony here – hence, the petard hoisting – is that the first recipient of this largess could be none other than Senator-elect Scott Brown. This could cause some inner crisis for the all-powerful, since 100% of the union’s support went to Brown’s opponent.
The other news, which the union’s officials are not so anxious to spread around, is that for the first time in many years, they’ve lost members. They explain this as student members don’t have jobs; therefore, they didn’t convert into regular members.
Since many growth states are adding new classroom teachers, this is subject to question. The states which are growing are states with Right to Work laws – twenty-two of them – and educators in those states cannot be required to join or be forced to support the union if they choose not to be associated.
It’s important to remember that teachers and teacher union officials are NOT one in the same.
In Pennsylvania, there are thousands of teachers who are firmly opposed to the union’s policies and politics and would like the very basic right restored to them to make their own choices as to which private organizations they will or will not support.
Fortunately, Pennsylvania State House member Kathy Rapp (R-65), joined by a record number of her colleagues, and Senator Mary Jo White (R-21) have stepped up to lead the battle to repeal forced dues and return individual choice where it belongs – to the individuals educators.
If the union’s officials are so convinced that educators do want what they’re selling, they should have no problem with giving that right to choose back to the teachers where it belongs, since no aspect of collective bargaining, contract negotiation or contract adjudication would be impacted in any way.
We repeat our offer to the union officials: If, as you claim, it is a burden to represent educators who are non-members, the simple and fair solution is to support the Rapp and White bills so that you only have to represent those educators who freely choose you to represent them.
I’m waiting to hear from you.